Lakers’ comeback against Orlando Magic falls short at home

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James flexes his muscles after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, blocks the shot of Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier, of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Orlando Magic guard Troy Caupain, center, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, left, and center Tyson Chandler defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsOrlando Magic guard Terrence Ross, left, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reach for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, left, shoots as Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, left, shoots as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, of Montenegro, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James flexes his muscles after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, blocks the shot of Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier, of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 7Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, blocks the shot of Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier, of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES – When the Lakers said they wanted to bring the magic back to Staples Center, this isn’t what they had in mind.Despite a pair of 3-point looks in the final minute in search of a go-ahead basket, the Lakers could not cap a furious fourth-quarter rally against the visiting Orlando Magic, who rode away with a 108-104 victory and a sweep in the season series.Some spell has troubled the Lakers (11-8) in particular against the Magic, with Sunday’s matinee showing many of the same symptoms as a loss in Orlando eight days before: a sloppy second- and third-quarter effort; letting center Nikola Vucevic score over the 30-point threshold; subpar passing that led to 14 turnovers in the first half alone.While LeBron James led the Lakers in many ways, scoring a team-best 24 points including some breath-catching fourth-quarter dunks, even he admitted his shortcomings in the rematch — just a few among the many the Lakers had in the game. His six turnovers were a team-high as well. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Some of them are being too unselfish, including myself,” he said. “I’m making some passes where I have a small window, seeing guys where I should probably hold onto it. A lot of ‘em are unforced. Some of them are attack turnovers. But we gotta do a better job of that, we haven’t been well, we haven’t been taking care of the ball the last two games.”It’s an understatement: The Lakers have given up a combined 41 turnovers in back-to-back games. While they played well enough on defense against the Jazz to win Friday, they were bowled over again by the inside-outside attack of Vucevic (31 points).The Magic began to rally after ceding an early 12-point gap, thanks to Vucevic’s outside shooting. The Magic center hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, forcing Laker bigs JaVale McGee (who still managed a season-high 7 blocks) and Tyson Chandler to drift closer to the 3-point line to cover him.That unsealed havoc for the Lakers’ interior defense, which was wrecked by the Magic to a 35-19 margin in a blowout third quarter, with Aaron Gordon scoring 11 of his 17 points in the period including a reverse jam. The Magic had 20 points in the paint during the third, while the Lakers were just 5 for 21 from the field in the same stretch.By the end of the third quarter, the Lakers were down by 15 and the early afternoon crowd at Staples Center was quiet. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “The fans, they tell it all,” said Kyle Kuzma, who finished with 21 points. “They kinda got disinterested in the game. We were giving up dunk after dunk and letting [the Magic] dictate what they wanted to do.”The Lakers found some extra fight through a small-ball lineup led by Brandon Ingram after Vucevic subbed out. Ingram scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, cutting the gap to single digits.After James checked back in, he ripped the Magic in transition for dunks, notched a key assist to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and momentarily overcame his free throw line frustrations to hit a tying pair of shots at the stripe with 2:24 left in the game.The Lakers got some key stops to keep the Magic at bay, but late 3-point attempts by James and Caldwell-Pope that would’ve taken the lead fell off target. Terrence Ross had the go-ahead lay-up with 34 seconds remaining, then the Magic passed around the Lakers’ foul attempts to find Gordon for a game-sealing dunk with 10 seconds left.Coach Luke Walton didn’t have any issues with the final meaningful shot attempts — at that point, the Lakers had played beyond their normal means just to get back in the game.“Absolutely we’ll live with those: KCP’s one of our best shooters, LeBron’s one of the best finishers our game’s ever had,” he said. “We’ll take that, that’s not why we lost the game because we missed those. You hit those and you can find a way to steal that game back, but it was the second and third quarter why we lost.”In the Lakers’ last 10 games, the Magic have been the only team to beat them. Losing brings some simmering issues to focus, starting with turnovers. James said part of the problem is that the team is sorely missing Rajon Rondo, who was 6.5 assists per game before he broke his hand on Nov. 14.But other problems can be attributed to miscommunications and not knowing where teammates will be: He cited a pass he threw in the first quarter to Brandon Ingram, in which Ingram had left the corner.“I think we have the right intentions to go out there and share the ball, when guys are open we try to find them,” he said. “Sometimes we’re missing guys. But have to just look at the film and know where passes are and where guys are gonna be.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *