Bobcats (33-31) vs. Magic (47-20)
Time/TV: 6 p.m./FSFlorida
Key Matchup: Stephen Jackson (20.7 PPG, 42.7% FG%; 9.3 PPG, 31.3% FG% vs. Magic this year) vs. Matt Barnes (8.8 PPG, 32% 3FG%; 12.4 PPG, 7-16 3FG last five games)
Season Series: Won 93-81 in Charlotte on Nov. 10; Won 97-91 in Orlando on Nov. 16; Won 106-95 in Charlotte on Jan. 23; Tonight in Orlando.
UPDATE: Matt Barnes is out tonight with a sprained big toe, the Associated Press reports.
-The bench stepped up to reverse a lackadaisical first quarter in last night’s win against Washington.
-The recent string of blowouts have afforded the starters some much needed rest.
-Gerald Wallace will miss the next two games with an ankle injury, which Charlotte is very glad is not as serious as it could have been. The Bobcats also signed Larry Hughes although he will not be available tonight too, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
-Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observers says Michael Jordan might be the last, best hope to save NBA basketball in Charlotte.
-Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post writes Jameer Nelson has been the difference in the Magic’s eight-game winning streak and overall good play since the All Star break.
-The Magic can clinch a playoff spot with a win. Or if something more complicated happens that Josh Robbins explains.
-Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass helped Orlando dominate in the post during last night’s win against the Wizards.
-Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk has a preview of tonight’s game and notes Charlotte has given Orlando some problems despite losing three games to the Magic this season.
-Oh my how the mighty have fallen. And the mighty here is Steve Francis.
-JJ Redick scored 10 of his 18 points in the second quarter to spark a stagnant Magic team over the Wizards. Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has a recap.
-David Arnott of Rufus on Fire writes the key to the game will be Theo Ratliff and Tyson Chandler frustrating Dwight Howard and getting Orlando to ignore him in the post.
-Brett of Queen City Hoops provides his thoughts on the Larry Hughes signing.
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes that it seemed like Orlando was just making things more difficult before outscoring and dominating the Wizards last night.
-Matt Moore of Pro Basketball Talk writes the Bobcats are very happy with the news that Gerald Wallace’s severe ankle sprain is not as bad as it could have been.
-Gerald Wallace is known for crashing to the floor and had has a history of injuries. But the severely sprained ankle that will keep him out of tonight’s game comes at a very bad time for the Bobcats, who are fighting for a playoff spot, reports Tom Ziller of FanHouse.
-JJ Redick told the Associated Press that the bench players have been focused since a poor performance against Dallas on Feb. 19. He helped lead the Magic on a comeback in the second quarter in Saturday’s win over Washington.
-The Associated Press has the story about Larry Hughes’ signing with the Bobcats and other NBA notes.
-It was expecting a lot for the Wizards to top the defending Eastern Conference champions on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, writes Gene Wang of the Washington Post.