The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Orlando Magic Sunday night, looking to avenge a 19-point loss to them in Orlando just a couple weeks ago.
The Lakers had their usual starting lineup for the game, with Larry Nance Jr. being the only player on the roster missing the game due to injury as he continues to heal from a left knee bone bruise.
Los Angeles came into the game feeling good, as they defeated the Miami Heat 127-100 on Friday night at Staples Center. Luol Deng had one of his best games as a Laker, scoring 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds while D’Angelo Russell continued his strong play in recent weeks with 19 points of his own.
With the Magic leading 6-4 early, Timofey Mozgov backed down Bismack Biyombo and backed in a jumper after being fouled. He complete the three-point play to give the Lakers their first lead at 7-6.
The Lakers scored on their next three possessions, with the last one coming on a three by Deng to extend the lead to 15-10 with a little under eight minutes remaining in the first. But after five straight points from Orlando, Lakers head coach Luke Walton decided to take a timeout to talk things over.
The Lakers responded well with five straight points out of the timeout as Mozgov hit a reverse layup and Russell connected on a three.
After Walton inserted his second unit, rookie Brandon Ingram continued to do what he has done in recent games, and that’s attack the basket as he immediately went to the hole and earned an and-one, converting the free throw to complete the three-point play. Evan Fournier and Jordan Clarkson then exchanged threes, putting the Laker lead back to five.
Los Angeles continued to thrive offensively to finish out the first quarter, as did Orlando, and after Julius Randle nailed a three to close out the first quarter the Lakers led 40-34 after one. Randle led the Lakers with 11 points and four assists in the quarter.
The offense cooled down a bit in the second for the Lakers, as they began the quarter 0-for-6 and did not score for the first two and a half minutes before Thomas Robinson broke the spell with a dunk.
On the next possession Mozgov earned his team an extra 24 second by tapping out an offensive rebound. Lou Williams made the most of it by converting on a midrange jumper while getting fouled. After converting the free throw the Lakers lead was back up to four at 45-41. Ex-Laker Jodie Meeks hit a quick three though to put the deficit back to one for Orlando.
Leading 49-46 midway through the third, Jordan Clarkson drove the baseline and emphatically threw down a reverse dunk, causing Orlando head coach Frank Vogel to burn another timeout.
The Lakers found themselves in a position to take a commanding lead into halftime, leading by eight with just under two minutes remaining in the second quarter, but Orlando stiffened up defensively to close out the quarter and Elfrid Payton hit a three to beat the buzzer, cutting the Lakers lead to 62-60 at halftime.
Russell got his fifth assist of the night on the first possession of the third quarter, finding Mozgov for an alley-oop off a pick-and-roll. Russell then hit a three on the Lakers next possession to put them back up by seven.
Orlando began the third quarter 0-for-11 from the field before Serge Ibaka connected on a runner in the post with just under five minutes remaining in the quarter. The Lakers were unable to capitalize that much though, as their lead sat at just 10.
The Magic defense would not allow the Lakers any baskets, as Randle and Ingram were blocked on a couple layup attempts. Ingram was finally able to convert though as his layup put the Lakers up by 11 with two minutes left in the third.
The Lakers had another golden opportunity to take control of the game by closing out the third quarter strong, and while they were not able to do that they were able to an 81-69 lead into the fourth. Orlando scored just nine points on 2-of-20 shooting in the quarter as the Lakers outscored them by 10.
Nikola Vucevic made a driving layup and converted a three-point play to begin the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to nine. Ingram responded with back-to-back threes though to give the Lakers their largest lead of the night at 87-72.
The Lakers continued that strong play as they took advantage of some Orlando turnovers to extend the lead to 18. As soon as Ibaka made a layup to cut it back to 16, Walton called a timeout to regroup with just over six minutes remaining in the game.
The Magic scored four straight out of the timeout as the Lakers shots just would not fall, causing Walton to burn another timeout.
Out of the timeout the Lakers were able to turn defense into offense as a pair of blocks by Ingram and Russell led to Randle being fouled on a layup attempt. He converted both free throws, and then Ingram continued to be in attack mode as he was fouled on a midrange jumper. He not only made the jumper, but he made the free throw to extend the lead back up to 17 with four minutes left.
An 8-1 run by the Magic cut the deficit to 10, but Randle attacked the basket and finished a layup to bring it back up to 12. Randle also came up with some big defensive plays down the stretch to stop any possible comeback attempts, and the Lakers were able to come away with a 112-95 victory.
Randle led six Lakers in double figures with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Ingram finished the game with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Mozgov made all seven shots he took for 15 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Russell also had an efficient night with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Vucevic, Fournier and Ibaka all had 19 points apiece for Orlando.
The Lakers next play Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time when they host the Portland Trailblazers.