ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Orlando started their rare back-to-back homestand with an impressive 130-117 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. Nikola Vucevic led six Magic players in double-figures in points. He had a game-high 36 points and 13 rebounds.
Vucevic had his way with the Lakers. Every time the Lakers would try to use a smaller defender on him, he would use his size and skill to get easy baskets all game. He finished 15 for 23 from the floor and hit two 3-pointers in the game. This was his second 30+ point game in a row and the first time a Magic player has done that since Victor Oladipo did it in March of 2015.
“He’s tough. The way he can shoot the ball and score inside. When he [wasn’t] able to get our stops, we tried going small and switching and he punished us inside. When we had our bigs out there and we’re playing our traditional defense he’s popping and hitting 3’s. He’s a tough matchup. But we didn’t do a good enough job doing our part, for sure. But he definitely keeps the pressure on us.”- Lakers Coach Luke Walton on Nikola Vucevic
After an opening quarter that saw them struggle from beyond the three point line, Orlando hit 6 of their 11 attempts in the second quarter as they took control of the game. Sparked by the bench play of Jonathon Simmons, Jonathan Isaac and Terrance Ross, the Magic regained the lead and took a 9-point lead at halftime.
In his second game back from an ankle injury, Isaac once again made his impact on the defense end. During the second quarter run, Isaac blocked four shots and finished with a career-high five blocks in the game.
D.J. Augustin had 22 points and seven assists as he had the ability to get shots in the paint all night long. He went perfect from the three-point line and only missed two shots the whole game.
“…He was turning the corner and we really have the same ability to spread people out with Vooch and Mo as they do with Kuzma. So a lot of times there’s room for penetration and it was all mostly high pick-and-rolls and he’s turning the corner and he got some layups and he also created some corner threes and kick outs so he’s playing really well.”- Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on D.J. Augustin being in attack mode
LeBron James finished with 22 points and seven assists in 25 minutes; and he didn’t play in the fourth quarter because the Magic led by as many as 21 points. He was resting because the Lakers play in Miami on Sunday night.
Orlando’s next home game will be on Sunday as they take on the New York Knicks at 6pm and finish their homestand against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org