Coming off a deflating loss against the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic looked to get back on the winning track when the Los Angeles Lakers came to town on Friday night. To the Lakers credit, they played hard on the second night of a back-to-back, but were simply overpowered by the Magic. When the final buzzer rang, Orlando came away victorious 114-105.
The Magic, like most nights, saw a slow start offensively, falling down by eight points a mere five minutes into the game. Fortunately for the Magic, they were able to get their offense going, knocking down a couple of buckets and cutting the lead down to one. However, the Lakers pushed the lead right back up to seven, before settling in with a four point lead after one.
The second quarter started much of the same way, the Lakers hit some shots to push the lead out before the Magic answered. Orlando used a 13-0 run to propel themselves into the lead that grew to as many as five. The two then struggled some to find offense before an onslaught at the end of the half that saw the Lakers grab hold of a two-point lead going into the halftime break.
Coming out of halftime, the Magic struggled, allowing the Lakers to go on a quick 7-0 run to push the lead to nine. A Victor Oladipo bucket got the Magic going, as they were able to quickly score, going on a 9-0 run of their own to tie the game up. After going shot-for-shot for much of the remaining portion of the period, Orlando jumped on the Lakers late, ending the quarter on a 14-0 run to go up by 11 heading into the fourth.
After taking control of the game in the third, the Orlando Magic didn’t look back in the fourth. While the Lakers tried valiantly to cut into the Magic’s lead, Orlando wouldn’t let them, answering any run they attempted to put together. When the final buzzer sounded, the Magic were walking out victorious, their second win in four games after losing ten straight.
The Magic used a hot shooting night to douse the visiting Lakers, shooting 48.1 percent for the game, with only two starters shooting under 50 percent. Tobias Harris had a career type night, pouring in 28 points while grabbing a game and career high 20 rebounds. Arron Afflalo, who’s still pushing to be selected to his first ever All-Star team, bounced back after a tough night against the Hawks, finishing the game with 23 on 7-12 shooting. Point guard Jameer Nelson quietly had one of his best shooting nights of the season, knocking down 7-11 en-route to 22 points. The sensational rookie Oladipo showed why he was the second player selected in the draft, scoring 15 points to go along with a career high 12 rebounds.
For the Lakers, their ability to turn Magic miscues into points was not enough. Their balanced scoring attack, five players finished in double figures, was not enough on the second night of a grueling back-to-back. Big man Pau Gasol led the team with 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while point guard Kendall Marshall knocked down five trey’s en-route to 19 points and a game high 14 assists. Shooting guards Jodie Meeks and Nick “Swaggy P” Young combined for 33 points as well. Finally, rookie second round pick Ryan Kelly poured in 15 points, but struggled defensively against Tobias Harris.
Magic Game Notes
Harris’ Big Night
For the first time in his career, Magic forward Tobias Harris finished a game with 20+ points and 20+ rebounds. The night was clearly in the making for Harris, who’s play of late has been some of his best in his time with the team. After the game, the Tennessee product had this to say, “I just want to go out there and win. I do whatever I can for my team and just keep playing the right way night in and night out.” Harris’ style of play is exactly what the team needs, someone who can create their shot and help get his other teammates going as well. Harris later added, “I just want to be consistent with my effort.”
Points off Turnovers
After turning 17 of the Hawks mistakes into 27 points on Wednesday night, the Magic found less success against the Lakers. Orlando was only able to turn the Lakers 11 miscues into 11 points on Friday night. On the other hand, the Lakers converted 15 Magic turnovers into 25 points. The Magic are looking to find a sweet spot regarding how to play, whether that be at a faster pace, or a slower more traditional half court pace. Either way, they need to find a way to convert other teams turnovers into points for them to be successful.
On style of play for the second half of season…
“Getting out and running in transition, we want to do that, but again that’s all predicated upon us getting stops. Tonight we challenged the three, I thought, pretty good. We weren’t great in transition tonight, defensively, but overall defensively we got a chance to push the basketball.”
“It was good to get him back to that efficient area and I think we was really focused on where he wanted to get his shots from. I loved his concentration at the beginning of the game. He was aggressive. I think he thought he could get to his spots and when he does there’s a higher percentage that he’s gonna make them.”
Stat of the Night
Orlando turned eight offensive rebounds into 15 second chance points (5-9 shooting) compared to the Lakers seven offensive boards and two second chance points (1-7 shooting).