Lakers-Magic Open Thread

US PRESSWIRE

Forget the sideshow. Just get the win.

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The talk tonight will doubtless focus on Dwight Howard's return to the city that once embraced him, and vice versa, but the Lakers need to avoid any silly distractions. The Utah Jazz won last night, kicking the Lake Show back to 9th place in the West standings. When the Lakers beat the Bulls on Sunday there was certainly relief that they'd finally clawed back into the top 8, but there are still a lot of games they need to win to make the playoffs, and any one loss at this point - especially over a beatable opponent like the Magic - counts as a stepback.

The Magic, fortunately, are dreadful. They haven't beaten a good team since January 16 and have lost 21 of their last 24 (!) games. The Lake Show shouldn't, shouldn't, have any difficulties here. Which, of course, should make you all the more nervous.

Tomorrow they visit Atlanta, then Indy on Friday, after which the schedule eases up considerably.

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