The Los Angeles Lakers were back on the court for their second of three scrimmages at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This time the result was different from their opener as they came away with a solid 119-112 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Without a doubt the star of the game for the Lakers was third-year forward Kyle Kuzma. Just one day after turning 25 years old, he had a massive performance and it started early on as Kuzma went 4-for-4 from three-point range in the first quarter.
Kuzma finished with a team-high 25 points on the night, immediately erasing some of the concerns that came up following a rough shooting day in the first scrimmage. Anthony Davis looked on his way to a dominant outing with 9 points and 10 rebounds in the first 10 minutes, but was poked in the eye and didn’t return as the Lakers chose to play it safe.
LeBron James had another solid outing with 20 points and 7 assists, picking and choosing his spots as usual. It was his vision that set up this outstanding alley-oop from J.R. Smith to Dwight Howard who had to sky to throw it down.
— NBA (@NBA) July 25, 2020
The defense was a strong point for the Lakers, especially in the first half. Orlando missed 19 of their first 20 three-pointers and hovered around 20% shooting for much of the half. However, the Lakers struggled with fouls and turnovers which allowed Orlando to stay closer than they should have been.
The Magic would pick things up in the second half as the Lakers’ energy and effort waned, even briefly taking the lead at one point. But the Lakers’ depth carried them through, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope turning in 17 points. Then it was newcomer Dion Waiters stepping up in the clutch.
He made multiple key baskets in the final minutes to keep the Lakers ahead, including a layup showing off his strength when attacking the basket.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 25, 2020
Even though it was just a scrimmage, Waiters feels comfortable in those clutch situations. “I’m not trying to be cocky or anything, but I’ve been there before,” he noted after the game. “We have shooting drills and things like that, I scream out, ‘I’ve been there before.’
“I’ve hit big shots in real games. I love the moments and cherish them.”
Next for Lakers
The team will have their final of three scrimmages on Monday, when they face the Washington Wizards at 12 p.m. PT. Following that, the seeding games will begin on Thursday against the L.A. Clippers.
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