LeBron James might have seen his streak of 30-point games snap at seven, but when it results in a balanced team effort and the losing streak of the Los Angeles Lakers ending, he’ll take it.
James led six Lakers in double-figures with 28 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists and the Lakers totaled 32 assists as a team as they ran away from the Orlando Magic 129-110. The win snapped the Lakers’ four-game losing streak and improved their record to 14-20.
The Lakers got big contributions throughout the roster on this night as everyone found a way to make an impact in some way. Chief among them was Russell Westbrook, who finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, his third triple-double off the bench this season, tying the record held by Detlef Schrempf. Westbrook was the catalyst to a 49-point effort from the bench which also included 15 points from Troy Brown Jr. who hit 6-of-7 shots on the night.
The biggest catalyst early on for the Lakers was Patrick Beverley. The veteran guard hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points with much of that coming in the first half as the Lakers built a double-digit lead. Thomas Bryant also continued his strong play in the absence of Anthony Davis, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds on the night.
The biggest thing for the Lakers was that they did not let off the gas at any point during the second half despite leading by double-digits for most of the contest. The team was consistently active on both ends of the floor and was able to get out in transition, leading to a couple of highlight moments, most notably a beautiful alley-oop from Austin Reaves to James that brought the crowd to their feet.
The Lakers also did an excellent job of battling on the glass all night as well despite a major size difference. The Magic start four players listed at 6-foot-10 or taller with another two more who play big minutes off the bench, but the Lakers still out-rebounded Orlando 46-to-37 including nine offensive rebounds on the night.
L.A. did an excellent job of containing this year’s top overall pick and current Rookie of the Year favorite Paolo Banchero. The rookie forward was limited to just 22 minutes due to foul trouble but finished with just four points and five rebounds on 1-of-6 shooting.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers’ road trip through the South continues as they head to Miami for a 2020 NBA Finals rematch against the Heat on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday, before then going to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Friday night.
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