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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Magic – Game 34

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (14-20) | Orlando Magic (13-22)


The Lake Show snapped their four-game losing streak and got a much-needed win against the Orlando Magic 129-110


Lakers vs Magic
Photo Credit: AP

Anthony Davis suffered a stress injury in his right foot and will be out indefinitely, while Juan Toscano was also still inactive.

The Lakers maintained their same starting group in Orlando with Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV, LeBron James, and Thomas Bryant. One has to wonder if Darvin Ham could take Beverley out of the starting lineup for someone else to increase their size, such as Troy Brown Jr. or Wenyen Gabriel.

Pat Bev was on Paolo Banchero to begin the game, and it was a foul on the first possession, as the size differential was a looming problem for the Lake Show. The Magic placed Bol Bol on Pat Bev, and they just let him shoot. It worked initially as Beverley started 0-3 from three, but then he heated up and drained three three-pointers to take a 14-9 lead.

Pat Bev picked up a tech for arguing with the ref after getting called for his second foul, a foul which he picked up while on his back because Banchero walked into him and more than likely stepped on Beverley as well. With James on the bench getting some rest to end the first quarter, the Lake Show’s second unit played some solid basketball, and they took a 33-27 lead into the second quarter.

With James back into the game, he looked like a man on a mission, cutting to the rim and finishing the layup through the foul to total 10 points with 9:30 left in the first half. Despite Orlando going on a 9-0 run, the Lake Show still maintained a seven-point lead, with Beverley and Walker IV joining James to combine for 31 points total.

Bryant stepped back for a three to end the Magic’s scoring run. James executed a pick-and-roll to perfection, coming off the screen, staying patient, and bouncing a perfect pass to Bryant for the easy two. To end the first half, Walker IV’s shot rimmed out at the buzzer, but the Lakers went into halftime with a 10-point lead.


LA’s lead at the half was 65-55. They shot 53.3% from the field to Orlando’s 44.7%. The Lakers doubled the Magic in turnovers (eight to four) but hit five more threes and grabbed 25 rebounds to Orlando’s 22, a key against a larger opponent.


Lakers vs Magic
Photo Credit: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

To begin the second half, it seemed that Beverley began to get underneath the skin of Banchero, with the former nearly drawing a flagrant foul on the latter, but it was revealed to be just a common foul as Pat Bev did sell the act just a bit. Beverley, in particular, was already having a season-best performance after he made his fourth three, which was also a season-high for him.

Banchero was having a rough night himself; with 10:47 left in the third quarter, he was 1-5 from the field and 0-2 from three, but he had four fouls and picked up his fifth foul on a heads-up play by Schroder, who took a charge on the rookie in transition. That turn of events got Banchero out of the game for the time being.

Losing the rookie wasn’t all bad for Orlando, as their team is deep with young talent, and after back-to-back buckets from Bol, the Laker lead was cut to five points. On a side note, the Lake Show has been the NBA’s worst third-quarter team this season, ranking 30th in net rating, but Orlando was 29th per Mike Trudell.

Due to a sloppy possession for Orlando that eventually led to a turnover, Reaves had it in transition with three other Lakers running behind him looking for a score. Still, of course, King James was the receiver of Reaves’ lob pass for an emphatic flush.

Westbrook rocked the baby after bodying up Cole Anthony for a tough finish inside, which was valid since they were winning, unlike when Pat Bev celebrates when they’re losing. Gabriel has been a high-energy player all season long, and lately, he’s been a pest on both ends of the floor, as he nearly picked Bamba’s pocket for the steal. At the end of the third quarter, the Lake Show held their own and didn’t give up 51 points this time. So we’ll take that any day of the week. The Lakers led 92-83.

LA not only survived without Bron, something they haven’t been doing of late, but built upon a lead, thanks to back-to-back threes from Brown Jr. James would return after Orlando’s time out. LA did a nice job as they got James a touch under the rim to put LA up 118-103 with just over three minutes to play. However, this game was effectively over as the Lake Show simply outclassed Orlando, with the final score reading Lakers 129 and Magic 110. The Lakers snapped their four-game losing streak and improved to 14-20. 


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Magic
Photo Credit: Stephen M. Dowell/TSN

James’ 30-point streak ended as he finished with 28 points. Shocked, he allowed himself to be taken out before he got to 30; he also totaled seven rebounds and five assists but was an atrocious 0-7 from three. Bryant did his thing totaling 21 points on 8-10 from the field and ten rebounds.

Westbrook had his third triple-double, tying Detlef Schrempf for most triple-doubles all time off the bench with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists. LA snapped a losing streak with a win against a hot Orlando team that had won eight of their last nine games, riding seven combined threes from Brown Jr. and Beverley.

Markelle Fultz led Orlando with 16 points. Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. followed closely behind with 15 points each. No other Magic player made a significant impact.

James told Mike Trudell on playing the second night of a back-to-back at Miami, “I’ll know tomorrow when I get up.”


The Lakers will now travel to Miami, Florida, to take on the Miami Heat. They’ll face off on Wednesday, December 28th, at 4:30 p.m. PT at the FTX Arena. The game will be available on Bally Sports Sun, ESPN2, NBA TV, and Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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