Despite a slow start by both teams (3-of-17 shooting from the field), the Lakers responded well after the Magic won a surprisingly early Coach’s Challenge out of a timeout.
Led by Anthony Davis‘ seven points and eight rebounds, Los Angeles took an early double-digit lead after holding Orlando without a field goal for more than five minutes.
With LeBron James taking his first rest, Davis and the bench were able to extend their lead to 26-9 after the first quarter.
When James returned for the start of the second quarter, he went on a 7-0 run himself as part of his 14 points as the Lakers established the biggest lead of the game.
However, the Magic bench had a response of their own as they went on an 11-0 run to cut the team’s lead to 13. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope responded with back-to-back three-pointers to regain some much-needed momentum.
To begin the second half, the Magic gained some confidence and cut the deficit to just two points midway through the third quarter, which forced a Lakers timeout.
While the Magic had an opportunity to tie or take the lead, the Lakers re-established their lead, highlighted by James’ alley-oop pass to Davis after some strong team defense.
As the Magic never actually took the lead in the third quarter, the Lakers started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and never looked back to begin their five-game road trip.