The final night of the road trip to the West, a 94-106 scoreline saw Orlando leave LA with a loss to the Lakers. LeBron James hurt the Magic with a triple-double that included 30 points as he defied his soon to be 37 years of age.
The Magic were again competitive with another of the NBA’s elite teams. However a disastrous third quarter saw a two-point Magic half time lead disappear, being outscored 10-36 in the period that included a 10 minute period without an Orlando basket! Shots did not fall for Orlando in that period, one or two falling would have changed that momentum. To sum up how bad the third quarter was here is an unwanted statistic I found about it. Orlando’s 2 of 23 shooting in that period is the worst percentage by a Lakers opponent in a quarter since 1999.
To make the third quarter worse Mo Bamba sprained his right ankle and did not return to the game.
The Lakers defence worked hard making 11 blocks and 12 steals. Even so the Magic offence for three quarters showed some improvement again, hitting nine 3-pointers during the first half.
Magic Top Performers
Cole Anthony led the Magic with 21 points.
Franz Wagner added 20 points and 7 rebounds. His movement on and off the ball was again a feature of his ever growing game. He is first in the NBA rookies for points, second in steals, fifth for assists and sixth in rebounds.
Robin Lopez was called on to play minutes, dominating against Dwight Howard. RoLo contribution in the box score was 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Wendell Carter Jr bounced back with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block.
Terrence Ross continued his scoring run, notching 15 points. He supplemented this with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.
Moving Forward After Orlando Leave LA With A Loss To The Lakers
Orlando’s record is now 5 wins and 23 losses. The Magic stay 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won just the 1, whilst being on a 5 game losing streak. In fact for Orlando it is now 12 losses in 13 games. The schedule has universally agreed to be one of the NBA’s worst for a team this season and so far has been very road heavy for Orlando. The home record stands at 2 wins of 10 games played, whilst on the road it is 3 wins in 18 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.4 whilst conceding 111.8. Offensive and defensive rankings both have Orlando at 28th.
The Atlanta Hawks are 9th in the Eastern Conference with a 13-13 record. Of the last 10 games played the Hawks have won 6. Their road record is a losing one at 5 of 13 played. Atlanta score an average of 110.8 points per game, whilst conceding 108.1. Their season statistics are much improved from when we met on Game Day 14, with Orlando losing in Atlanta by 111-129.
Atlanta’s last game finished in a 113-105 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Trae Young led the Hawks with 31 points and 10 assists for a double-double. John Collins had 20 points, Kevin Huerter 19 points, whilst Clint Capella finished with a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds. Atlanta do play on Monday night at home to the Houston Rockets.