The big news of the day was the Los Angeles Lakers adding center Andre Drummond.
However, the 6-10 center isn’t expected to joint the team until Monday at the earliest, and the Lakers still had a game to play.
L.A. face an Orlando team in the process of rebuilding. The Magic traded away their top three players this week in Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon. Those three combined for nearly 59 points a contest for the Magic.
Playing without LeBron James for a sixth game, the Lakers did what they are supposed to do against an inferior team, winning 96-93 at the Staples Center on Sunday.
The Lakers are 4-2 without James in the lineup.
With the Magic missing that much firepower, it’s no surprise Orlando struggled to get buckets against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA in the Lakers, shooting just 39 percent from the floor.
The Lakers led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but the Magic did not go away quietly, tying the game at 46-all early in the third quarter and leading by as many as five points in the fourth quarter before the Lakers finally wrestled control of the game at the end of the fourth quarter.
Orlando swingman Otto Porter Jr. missed a long three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.
Montrezl Harrell played well inside again, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers won their second straight game and improved to 30-17 with the win, while Orlando dropped to 15-31.
Top player: Kyle Kuzma finished with a double-double, with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Markieff Morris also had a double-double, with 12 points and 11 rebounds
What I liked: Dennis Schröder played well again, finishing with 24 points, six assists and five rebounds.
What I didn’t like: Yep, sounds like a broken record, but the Lakers struggled to shoot from beyond the arc, finishing 11-for-29 (28 percent).
Injuries: Orlando’s Karim Mane bumped into Harrell’s right knee on a drive to the basket midway through the fourth quarter. However, Harrell walked it off and stayed in the game.
They said it: “Our mindset going in is winning every game. That’s something that’s just part of the culture that we have, and part of the team mentality that we’ve got guys on this team that are competitive and want to win.” Alex Caruso on his team’s approach, even with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the mend.