Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Sunday afternoon road contest against the Orlando Magic, the fifth of a seven-game road trip, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Magic: J. Nelson, J. Richardson, H. Turkoglu, R. Anderson, D. Howard
8:23 Andrew Bynum is one of the few matchups in the league in which Dwight Howard’s actually at a size disadvantage, which the Lakers used to their benefit early as Bynum reached seven points and five boards to Howard’s two and four with the Lakers holding a slight early lead.
2:01 Next came a 9-0 Magic run that resulted off four consecutive misses on the other end, but LAL responded with a 6-0 burst of their own, featuring a Bynum put-back layup, a leaner in the lane from Bryant and Odom’s alley-oop layup from Artest’s hand to make it a 24-21 deficit.
0:17.0 The biggest play of the quarter may have been Gasol’s drawing Howard’s second foul when Orlando’s big man led with his front elbow on a pivot move, which would put him on the bench for at least a portion of the second quarter. L.A. did manage to hold the Magic scoreless for the final 3:17 of the period, but made only 9-of-25 field goals (36 percent) to keep the score where it was with 2:01 to go.
7:08 Keyed by Odom, the Lakers reeled off an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead at 31-30, holding Orlando without a point for a three-minute stretch. They were doing it with defense, creating a series of turnovers and capitalizing in transition.
0:00 The Lakers played fine in the second, but had similar problems making shots as they did in the first quarter, no matter how easy or difficult. As such, they trailed the Magic 45-41 at the break despite committing six fewer turnovers and scoring 12 more points in the paint. Bryant’s 13 points led the way, while Bynum had 11 and seven boards.
7:45 An end-of-shot-clock triple from Ryan Anderson was Orlando’s sixth make of the game in 14 attempts, while Artest’s miss at the other end was the eighth in nine attempts, a difference of 15 points from the perimeter as Orlando enjoyed a seven-point lead.
3:30 Fisher and Artest had made just 1-of-9 total shots before nailing back-to-back long jumpers sandwiching a reverse layup from Bynum to cut Orlando’s 9-point lead to two at 58-56. From that point on, Orlando controlled the action almost entirely, scoring nine points while conceding only four to the Lakers, who bogged down on offense as Bryant isolated himself on Turkoglu. The Lakers were generally poor in the period, failing to get the ball inside to challenge Howard and settling for jumper after jumper.
10:14 The Magic kept up their late run in the third with consecutive baskets to make it 71-60, their biggest lead, though Bynum’s deuce and 1-of-2 Odom free throws cut the lead back to eight.
5:38 The Lakers just couldn’t get any traction in this one, momentarily cutting Orlando’s lead down to six before the Magic pushed back to go up 84-69 on Howard’s spectacular and-1 put-back over Gasol’s outstretched arms. LAL came from 15 points down to beat Boston, the only time in the past six seasons they’ve overcome such a road deficit, but that lead was in the second quarter.
3:50 Phil Jackson waived the white flag by pulling Bryant out, his team down 87-71, knowing the Lakers have to play another tough road game tomorrow evening at Charlotte. His squad just didn’t have it on this night, for the first time on their road trip.
Your final: 89-75, Orlando.
84 The previous fewest number of points scored by the Lakers in Orlando, which came on 3/23/97, prior to Sunday’s contest. It was also a season-low in points on the season, the previous coming in a loss to Milwaukee (98-79).
39.6 L.A.’s field goal percentage in a poor offensive first half, in which the Lakers made only 1-of-8 triples, 2-of-5 free throws and 18-of-40 two-pointers.
31 Points for Dwight Howard, for whom the Lakers didn’t have an answer throughout. They let him get off 16 shots, of which he made 13, forcing him to shoot only six foul shots, five of which came in the fourth quarter, and he added 13 boards with three blocks.
17 Scoring total for Andrew Bynum, who added nine rebounds and two steals before leaving in the fourth quarter after banging knees. He helped the Lakers hold a slight edge in the paint at 44-40, but that would prove inconsequential as the Lakers were terrible from the perimeter (2-of-16 threes).
11 Points for Pau Gasol, who had one of his least impactful games of the season, adding only four boards and three assists in 35 minutes.