In a thrilling NBA matchup on Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers showcased their resilience, securing a dramatic 106-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. D’Angelo Russell and LeBron James played pivotal roles in the Lakers’ come-from-behind win, with Anthony Davis also making a significant impact.
Russell, who scored a game-high 28 points, demonstrated his clutch performance by contributing 12 crucial points in the fourth quarter. LeBron James, despite dealing with ankle tendonitis, added nine of his 19 points in the final period, further highlighting his ability to step up when it matters most. Anthony Davis was a force to be reckoned with, tallying 26 points and an impressive 19 rebounds.
“What you guys see is a team figuring it out,” Russell said. “This isn’t the product that it will be in a month or two from now. Every game matters. Every clutch situation matters. Every practice matters. So we’re figuring it out.”
The Magic had maintained a lead throughout the fourth quarter, but a three-pointer from LeBron James with 2:27 remaining shifted the tide in favor of the Lakers. Jalen Suggs responded with his third three-pointer of the night, only for D’Angelo Russell to sink another critical three-pointer with 1:43 left on the clock.
Both teams exchanged missed shots before Jalen Suggs’ attempt in the lane was expertly blocked by Anthony Davis with 13 seconds to go. After Russell converted two free throws, the Magic’s last-ditch efforts, including attempts by Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs from beyond the arc, fell short, with LeBron James credited for a block on Wagner’s shot.
The Lakers received a significant boost from D’Angelo Russell, the returning point guard, who provided much-needed scoring support for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell not only scored 28 points but also recorded eight assists, connecting on 10 of his 14 field goal attempts, including three three-pointers.
Russell, James, and Davis combined to score the Lakers’ final 30 points over the last 13 and a half minutes, underscoring their invaluable contributions to the team’s victory.
“We’re going to continue to get better,” LeBron James commented. “I think we’re still a little trying to figure it out, which is OK. We’re four games in. We’re going to get a lot better throughout the season, but so far we like some of the things we see.”
On the opposing side, Gary Harris Jr. stood out for the Orlando Magic with 17 points, including five three-pointers, but the team couldn’t convert their final five shot attempts. Franz Wagner added 16 points, while Jalen Suggs contributed 15.
While the Lakers showed occasional signs of sluggishness after a tough overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings the previous night, they managed to overcome their challenges. The Magic displayed resilience and intensity throughout the game, even though they hadn’t played since Friday in Portland.
“It just shows a resiliency that we have as a team, but also knowing that if we get in those situations, we know what to do,” Anthony Davis noted. “Guys are not rushing shots or making bad plays. Just doing what we need to do for our teammates.”
The Lakers had contemplated resting LeBron James due to his left ankle tendonitis, part of their strategy to manage the minutes of the 38-year-old basketball legend. However, James decided to take the court after assessing his condition during pregame workouts.
Gary Harris Jr. played a pivotal role for the Magic in the first half, going 5 for 5 with four three-pointers and contributing to their halftime lead, despite falling behind by 11 points early in the game.
Notably, Rui Hachimura was sidelined for the Lakers due to an eye injury he sustained in the previous game, but the team found support in Christian Wood, their new backup big man, who made significant contributions with nine points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots. The Lakers’ victory was a testament to their collective effort and the ability of key players to rise to the occasion in crucial moments.