Tuesday , Feb , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers try to make Magic disappear in LA

(Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic begin a five-game road trip tonight when
they visit the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On
December 23rd, Kobe Bryant finished with 21 points to lead the Lakers to an
easy 104-88 win over the Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.

The Lakers have won two straight and five of the last six meetings in this
series. Orlando has lost eight straight at the Lakers.

The last time the Magic beat the Lakers on the road was on March 17, 1996.

Orlando attempts to get back on the winning track this evening. On Sunday, Yao
Ming posted a double-double, scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 boards, as the
Houston Rockets held on to beat the Magic, 89-84, at the TD Waterhouse Centre.

Grant Hill paced the Magic with 22 points and Carlos Arroyo added 17 points
off the bench in the loss to the Rockets for Orlando, which has dropped nine
of 10 and 13 of its last 15 contests overall.

The Magic are a brutal 6-21 on the road this season. They will also visit
Golden State, Phoenix, Denver and Utah on the current swing.

LA attempts to halt a two-game losing streak. On Sunday, Paul Pierce scored 39
points and hit the winning free throw with 3.2 seconds left to catapult the
Boston Celtics to a 112-111 victory over the Lakers at the Staples Center.

Bryant led the way with 40 points in the loss to Boston for the Lakers, but he
had just three points in the final quarter. Bryant also ended with eight
rebounds and six assists. Brian Cook ended with 19 points, while Lamar Odom
contributed 14 points, 10 boards and seven assists for Los Angeles in defeat.

The Lakers are a respectable 15-11 as the host this season. After tonight’s
game, the Lakers hit the road for a pair of games against Portland on
Wednesday and Golden State on Friday.