The Los Angeles Lakers were defeated by the Orlando Magic, 119-118.
The Lakers were able to get JaVale McGee involved early as the big man was the recipient of a few dishes next to the rim, scoring eight of the team’s first 10 points. On the other end, Los Angeles paint defense was leaky as they allowed Orlando to get to the rim for several easy baskets of their own.
The Magic made life difficult for the Lakers in the halfcourt as they walled off the paint on drives and ran out to contest any jump shots. Quinn Cook was able to hit some much-needed shots, but Los Angeles still found themselves down 35-29.
The Magic stepped on the gas pedal to begin the second quarter as they were able to capitalize on missed shots and Lakers turnovers and went on a 13-0 run. Jared Dudley provided a spark, diving for a loose ball and hitting a three but Orlando was able to answer to stay well ahead.
The Lakers finally seem to find some momentum near the end of the quarter as McGee blocked a Terrence Ross dunk attempt which led to a four-point play for Troy Daniels. After being down by 20 points, Los Angeles went into the locker room only down 65-58.
Much like the first half, Los Angeles looked as though they were going to close the gap, but Orlando battled back by draining a couple of threes. Aaron Gordon helped give the Magic their largest lead of the night after a pair of impressive dunks, but the Lakers quickly responded with an 8-0 run after a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three.
The tide quickly turned in favor of the purple and gold as they finally were able to break down the Orlando defense and get into an offensive rhythm. Cook had another solid stretch hitting jumpers and Los Angeles went into the final quarter only down 89-88.
The momentum continued into the fourth for the Lakers as they were able to hit from beyond the arc to take their first lead since the opening quarter. The two teams then proceeded to trade baskets midway through the period, but the Magic seemed to settle in after going on a small 5-0 run.
Orlando took the lead late in the game, but Los Angeles was able to keep it close with some clutch shots from deep. Markelle Fultz was able to get into the lane and convert on several tough looks at the rim and he and the Magic would walk away with the win.