Recap: Defense Shines Early, Lakers Hold On Late To Defeat Magic In Second Scrimmage
JaVale McGee, Lakers
Jesse D. Garrabrant-NBAE

In their second scrimmage – against the Orlando Magic – the Los Angeles Lakers looked a little closer to regular season form with some hot shooting and stifling defense. In spite of some sloppy play and laziness in the second half,

Both the Lakers and Magic got off to an extremely slow start, with only seven combined points in the first three minutes. Things sped up, however, and the Lakers led 12-8 halfway through the first quarter.

Kyle Kuzma was the game’s first sub, coming in for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, immediately drilling a three in his first offensive set. He would hit three from beyond the arc before the end of the frame.

Anthony Davis would exit the game after being poked in the eye. Davis would be ruled out for the remainder of the game, but had a near double double in 10 minutes of play.

The bench unit helped blow the game open early and after one, the Lakers led 35-19.

The second quarter began with a lineup of Dion Waiters, JR Smith, Dwight Howard, Kuzma, and James. This lineup did not excel, though, as the Magic went on a strong 9-0 run to cut the Lakers lead down to seven. Kuzma helped to lift the Lakers out of the slump, even as James and Davis were both out of the game.

The Lakers defense showed how great it can be, as the Magic were ice cold throughout the entire first half. Midway through the second, the Magic were shooting an abysmal 7/41 from the field. This led the Lakers to a 50-34 lead with four minutes left. At the half, the Lakers led 60-47.

Much like the first scrimmage, the L.A. seemed determined to get everybody minutes, with 12 players seeing the floor in the first half. 23 of the Magic’s 47 points came at the free throw line.

Unlike the game against the Mavericks, the second half began with the full starting lineup with Kuzma subbed in for Davis. The Magic came out of the break finally making some shots, and it brought them to within five just two minutes into the half, 63-58.

The two teams continued to go back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, with the Magic simply outworking L.A. and even tying the game up. After three, the Lakers led 89-87, allowing the Magic to score 40 in the period.

The fourth quarter started with an all bench lineup of Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Howard, Smith, and Waiters. With 10 minutes left in the game, Orlando was able to get their first lead at 92-91, but L.A. quickly got it back and kept it with the help of Waiters.

The Lakers were able to maintain a small advantage due to Waiters and Caldwell-Pope playing great basketball on the offensive end. This gave them a 108-100 lead with about five minutes remaining.

Things would get close down the stretch as the Lakers finished out with the subs over the last couple of minutes. A 3-point play cut the Lakers lead to just three with one minute remaining. But Waiters hit a pair of clutch shots to ice the game as the Lakers got a 119-112 win over the Magic in their second scrimmage.

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