Lakers get dominated in rematch against Magic

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers and Magic end their season series tied at one game apiece.

All the bad habits that the Lakers have been doing in this young season were on full display in Florida.

The young Orlando Magic team obliterated the Los Angeles Lakers on their home floor and was able to get revenge from their loss earlier this week. The final tally was 120-101.

Getting down by double figures in the first quarter? Check. This is the fifth in 6 games this season that this has happened. Granted, the Lakers tend to get better as the games go on but getting down by 10 or more in the first period is not ideal and it becomes a climb that nobody really wants to do. And it’s maddening how the Lakers just act too cool for a lot of their games. I’m sure they take these games seriously but it sure doesn’t look like it, sometimes.

Turnovers? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon that the more possessions they give their opponents, the worse for them. They had 17 giveaways. Orlando had 15 so they weren’t much better but they had the lead for most of the game.

Second chance points? Yup. Orlando dominated to the tune of 36-15. The Lakers can’t seem to get the offensive boards and have been incapable of stopping their opponents from doing the same thing.

Defensive intensity? Affirmative. Dying on screens. Not sticking to their man closely enough. Leaving their man open way too much. And they couldn’t stop the Magic from all the dives and cuts. That defense that the Lakers seemed to take pride in has not really showed up as much this season.

Transition defense? Of course. We know the Lakers tend to be very weak on stopping teams on the fast break. Orlando outscored them in that department, 15-5.

Combine all of that for the Lakers and it has the making of them getting dumped. Yes, the Lakers were short of Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Jalen Hood-Schifino but the Orlando Magic were also missing Wendell Carter, Markelle Fultz, and Gary Harris. And we know what Harris did against them on Monday: 17 points to lead Orlando in scoring.

The positives? Anthony Davis rejected all the shots. Austin Reaves seems to be finally out of his slump. LeBron James had some good stats but he’s also had some careless turnovers (the one where he did an unnecessary behind-the-back pass that led to a Magic fast break dunk comes to mind). D’Angelo Russell never really got it going from the field and the Lakers needed more outside of their “big three”, per se. The Lakers never got any closer than 13 after the Magic built a 25-point lead during the time the Third Quarter Lakers were on.

But the Orlando Magic pretty much played an A+ game against the Lakers. Give them credit where credit is due.

Lakers were led by Anthony Davis with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 blocks. LeBron went for 24-9-5 while Reaves scored 20. As for Orlando, Paolo Banchero got off to a quick start (12 points in the first) and finished with 25 points, 7 boards, and 10 assists. Franz Wagner led the team as he scored 26. Four other Magic players scored in double figs; they have been very good at spreading the wealth (Goga Bitadze was huge with 10 points, 10 boards, and 5 blocks).

The Lakers know what they have to do. They got thoroughly thrashed so they’ll just throw this game away and move on in their Florida trek. They have the Miami Heat on Monday in a rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals. Man, that was a weird time. Anyway, they’ll continue to hunt for their first road win for the season.