The Los Angeles Lakers suit up for their second of three scrimmage games on Saturday, taking on the hometown Orlando Magic in an early-afternoon showdown inside the Walt Disney World bubble.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has noted the challenge of dealing with inconsistent practice times, so it will be interesting to see how the team responds to an early tipoff (12 p.m. ET).
Lakers All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis both sat out during the second half of the Thursday’s scrimmage, a 108-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but could see some increased minutes this time around. Against the Mavericks, James and Davis both scored 12 points in only 15 minutes of action.
Elsewhere on the roster, JaVale McGee and Quinn Cook contributed 13 points each, shooting a combined 73% from the floor. Cook is expected to take on a more significant role with the absences of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo, and his performance was an encouraging reminder of his abilities.
Despite impressing in practice, Kuzma had a poor outing in his first game back. The third-year forward scored nine points on an abysmal 4-of-13 shooting performance.
Dion Waiters and JR Smith made their unofficial Lakers debut, scoring nine and six points, respectively. Waiters made his presence felt on a buzzer-beating three to end the first quarter.
The Lakers sorely missed the defending capabilities of Bradley, who opted out of the league’s restart late last month. Seth Curry notched 23 points with six three-pointers on a perfect 8-8 shooting. Boban Marjancovic tacked on 17 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
While in an exhibition setting, Dwight Howard will get another look at his former team. Howard recently addressed long-held speculation bad blood existed between himself and the city of Orlando.
Alex Caruso is available after missing the team’s first scrimmage due to a back contusion. Vogel also said it’s possible Davis and James will play in the fourth quarter. He intends to go with a tighter rotation than in the opener, though still monitoring minutes.
The Magic fell short in their first scrimmage, falling 99-90 to the L.A. Clippers. Nikola Vucevic led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams added 16 points off the bench.
The Lakers currently sit three games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA but lead the Western Conference with a 49-14 record. The Lakers stand 5.5 games above the Clippers, and attention will soon shift to their first-round opponent.
With eight seeding games to be played, the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs are expected to fight for the final playoff spot.
The Magic are a virtual lock for a second straight postseason berth. They lead the Washington Wizards by 5.5 games for the eighth seed in the East. They only trail the seventh-place Brooklyn Nets by half a game and will make a push to overtake them to avoid a clash with the Bucks.
Los Angeles Lakers (49-14) vs. Orlando Magic (30-35)
9:00 a.m. PT, July 25, 2020
HP Field House, Orlando, Florida
TV: NBATV, Spectrum SportsNet
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Lebron James
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma
Projected Magic Starting Lineup:
PG: D.J. Augustine
SG: Evan Fournier
SF: James Ennis III
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Vucevic
Key Reserves: Terrence Ross, Mohamed Bamba, Michael Carter-Williams
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