The Los Angeles Lakers brought in Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell to give the team more offensive firepower outside of its two superstars. With the team in dire need of a push to avoid an embarrassing loss in Orlando against the Magic, they were the two to step up.
Schroder scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to go along with 10 assists, and Harrell responded to his first DNP of the season with 18 points off the bench as the Lakers defeated the Magic, 114-103. The win ended the Lakers’ three-game losing streak and kept them firmly ahead of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference playoff race.
It initially looked as if it would be an easy night for the Lakers as they raced out to a 16-point first-quarter lead and remained ahead by 12 heading into the second. But the second quarter was one of the Lakers’ worst of the season as they were outscored 40-22 and found themselves trailing at the half.
The Lakers imposed their size for much of the second half however with Harrell leading the way until Schroder took over down the stretch. Harrell finished with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals, giving the team a much-needed energy boost after a disappointing first half.
Anthony Davis also continued to look more and more like himself as his minutes restriction was lifted. Davis had 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
He also hit his first 3-pointer since making his return to the lineup, though he did struggle to take care of the ball with five turnovers. Not to be outdone, Andre Drummond also added 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers dominated inside.
The Lakers outrebounded Orlando 44-28 while outscoring them in the paint by 16. The Lakers were also able to get out in transition with 20 fastbreak points and got 38 points from their bench overall.
Kyle Kuzma proved to be the team’s only consistent outside shooter, knocking down 4-of-6 from deep on his way to 14 points and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returned to the lineup after a one-game absence to finish with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they weren’t able to escape the game unscathed. Backup guard Alex Caruso left the game in the second half with back spasms after attempting to take a charge.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers finish up their road trip by heading to Washington on Wednesday to take on the red-hot Wizards led by current Eastern Conference Player of the Week Bradley Beal. They will then return home for three straight games starting with the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
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