The Los Angeles Lakers will look for their second win of the season on the second night of a back-to-back against the Orlando Magic. The Lakers will be without their star, Kobe Bryant, for a second consecutive game, who is missing the game due to back problems. Kobe missed last night’s game against the Miami Heat due to what many presumed to be rest, but Kobe later indicated that he was struggling with back pain.
The Lakers do not have an easy task ahead of them as they try to match the young talent of the Magic. The young legs of the Lakers will seek redemption from last night’s second half meltdown on this second night of a back-to-back. It is yet to be seen what role D’Angelo Russell will serve at the end of the game, but Russell is waiting patiently for his number to be called in the fourth quarter.
Roy Hibbert won the tip and the Lakers missed their first field goal, but Clarkson grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Russell who made a three. After Victor Oladipo knocked down a three to tie the game, Russell drove past his defender for the layup. Russell continued to have an influence on the game, assisting on a Mettaa World Peace three and then a layup, given the Lakers a 10-3 lead. Orlando answered the Lakers hot start with a 9-4 run, but was forced to leave the game with concussion like symptoms after a collision with his teammate. Nick Young entered the game and continued his hot shooting, nailing his first three as soon as he touched the ball. The Lakers struggled with defensive rebounds, allowing the Magic second chance points, and Mario Hezonja made a three to give them the lead 22-21 with 2:19 remaining in the quarter. Nikola Vucevic made a turnaround jumper over Tarik Black to give him six points in his first game back from injury. Lou Williams made a driving floater on the Lakers’ last possession to cut their deficit to one at the end of the first quarter. The Magic lead 26-25.
Marcelo Huertas stole the inbounds pass to start the second quarter, but the Lakers failed to convert against a short shot clock. After a sloppy few possessions from both sides, Williams lead a fast break and threw a lob to Larry Nance Jr., who gently laid the ball in. A few minutes later, Huertas assisted a Nance Jr. jumper to put the Lakers back on top 30-29. Clarkson replaced Huertas, moving Williams to point guard, who scored off of the pick-and-roll on a jump shot drifting to his left. Nance stayed perfect from the field, converting on a contested jump shot, giving him eight points and the Lakers the lead 39-38. World Peace caught the ball on the cut and found a diving Brandon Bass, who finished at the rim with 3:23 left in the half. Elfrid Payton drove down an open lane and attempted a dunk over Randle and had his shot blocked, but the referee called a foul on Randle. A few possessions later, Evan Fournier drew a foul and converted the layup, earning a three-point play and tying the game at 43. Bass broke the tie with a dunk, but the Magic scored five straight points to end the quarter. The Lakers end the half trailing, 45-48.
The Lakers started the third with three consecutive stops and they scored five straight points to begin the half. The Magic continued to dominate the offensive glass, creating more second chance opportunities, and Aaron Gordon made a corner three to give the Magic a one-point lead. Both sides struggled offensively, taking bad shots and turning the ball over as the lead continued to go back-and-forth. With six minutes remaining in the third, Tobias Harris made a short corner jumper to give the Magic back the lead, 57-56. After a timeout, the Lakers finally ran an offensive set that resulted in a dunk by Hibbert. Clarkson was struggling from the field, but he was able to find Hibbert again down low for a dunk, giving him four assists and giving the Lakers the one-point lead with 3:45 left in the third. On a broken play, the Magic ended up with a loose ball and Vucevic slammed home an alley-oop. After the Lakers turned the ball over, Shabazz Napier was fouled on a made jumper, and he converted the three-point play, giving the Magic the lead. The next Magic possession, Channing Frye made a buzzer beater with his foot on the line, giving them a 74-70 lead heading into the fourth.
The three-point shooting of the Lakers was on full display as Young, Nance Jr., and Huertas all hit from deep to start the quarter. The Magic kept up though, as the score remained tied at 81 after three minutes. Napier hit a three, but the Lakers responded with a three-point play from Hibbert. A pair of free throws from Williams gave the Lakers a brief two point lead midway through the quarter, but Orlando continued to stay even. The Lakers pushed ahead by four after a dunk from Randle, but Harris hit a corner three to cut the lead to one. Randle hit another jumper, but another corner three, this time from Napier tied the game. Russell continued his strong game with an excellent drive and layup, but Orlando responded as the game was tied at 94 with three minutes left. Another Napier three and a Harris layup on an offensive rebound put Orlando ahead by five. The Lakers would again respond as Williams was again fouled on a three and Randle tied it with a floater in the lane. The Lakers got a stop, but Randle was blocked on the other end. The Lakers got another stop and had the ball with 25 seconds left and the game tied at 99. Williams had a shot to win the game, but it didn’t even touch the rim as the Magic got the ball back with 1.5 seconds remaining thanks to a shot clock violation. Vucevic hit a fadeaway at the buzzer to give Orlando a 101-99 win.