Kobe and company host the visiting former employer of Howard in a showdown of less than mediocre basketball. Orlando came into tonight's game with a 5-10 record (having lost 3 straight), 28th in offense and 10th in defense. It's only fair for them to struggle their first season after Howard's adieu.
With that being said, statistics don't mean a thing when compared to this inconsistent Lakers team. L.A. hasn't shown steady sign of fulfilling their rosters' expectations. They can win/lose to the best/worst of them on any given Sunday. Tonight is no exception.
Lakers lose to the Orlando Magic 113-103. L.A. drops below 500 yet again.
In a game where the Lakers struggled to build a double digit lead, the Orlando Magic just waited and hung around until late in the 4th quarter where they sparked a 30-11 game winning run. Lakers struggled defensively and could not close the game. They look flat-footed and again fail to carry out winning momentum from previous games.
Everyone knows that Kobe will get his regardless (averaging 18 FGA), but his production alone isn't going to win games. D'Antoni needs to figure out an effective rotation. Jamison is playing well off the bench and it wouldn't hurt to see him start at the PF position over the struggling Spaniard. I'm sure the fans who've hopped off the Gasol train wouldn't mind it.
Meanwhile, Jordan Hill's minutes are murdered by Jamison's recent successes. Hill's energy was desperately needed tonight. Hill fans will wonder why he wasn't put in the game tonight.
Individual Laker standout performances:
Kobe Bryant - 34 points (12-27 FG), 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Dwight Howard - 21 points, 15 rebounds (missed 12 free throws)
Other than Jamison's 10 points the Lakers bench had a disappointing night.
The big mismatch of the night I think was at the 1 spot. Morris and Duhon had a combined 5 points and 6 assists. Jameer Nelson absolutely killed them.
Individual Magic standout performances:
Jameer Nelson - 19 points / 13 assists
Arron Afflalo - 30 points (11-18 FG)
Nikola Vucevic - 17 pts / 12 rebs
Glen Davis scored 23 points and brought down 12 rebounds. This is his 7th double double of the season. He's having a great season thus far.
J.J. Redick scored 14 points off the bench and showed ball movement for 7 assists.
Box Score courtesy of NBA.com