Lakers Offense Magically Disappears In Loss To Orlando

The Lakers finish their road trip with games in Charlotte on Monday and Cleveland on Wednesday.

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Too Much Dwight Howard, Too Little Offense Leads To 89-75 Lakers' Loss To Magic

The Los Angeles Lakers stayed close in the first half, but they ran out of gas in the second half against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, losing 89-75 to Orlando. It was the first loss of the road trip for the Lakers, who had won four straight coming into today. The 75 points was a season low for the Lakers, who shot just 39.3% in the game.

The Lakers trailed by four points at halftime, and Andrew Bynum outplayed Howard, with 11 points and seven rebounds compared to nine points, five rebounds, and three fouls in the first half for Howard. However, Howard dominated in the second half, with 22 points, giving him 31 points and 13 rebounds on the day. Bynum ended with 17 points and nine rebounds, but was a non-factor in the second half, with just six points and two rebounds.

Kobe Bryant and Bynum led the Lakers in scoring with 17 points each, but in reality it was hard to find any positives on offense today. The Lakers averaged just 0.89 points per possession in today's contest, a far cry from their 1.12 points per possession on the season. The men on the perimeter, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Shannon Brown, and Steve Blake, combined to make just seven of 26 field goals in today's game, including just one for 11 from three-point range.

There is little rest for the weary, as the Lakers head to Charlotte to face the Bobcats on Monday night. The Lakers are just 5-7 in their last 12 games against the Bobcats, including 2-4 in Charlotte.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Magic Game Score: Andrew Bynum Outplays Dwight Howard, But Lakers Trail 45-41 At Halftime

Andrew Bynum made his presence in the middle known with 11 points and seven rebounds, but the Los Angeles Lakers still trail the Orlando Magic at halftime, 45-41. Bynum grabbed five of his seven rebounds on the offensive end, and made five of eight field goals in the first half. He outplayed Dwight Howard, who had nine points and five rebounds, but also picked up three fouls, forcing the Magic to bench their center for the final two minutes of the half.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 13 points in the first half, but they struggled as a team from the perimeter. Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Shannon Brown, and Steve Blake combined to make just one of 13 field goals, including 0-for-5 from three-point range. Meanwhile, Orlando made five of their 11 shots from distance in the first half, 45.5%.

Jason Richardson led the Magic in the first half with 12 points, making five of his nine field goals. The Magic shot 45.0% in the first half, compared to 39.6% for the Lakers. Orlando also outrebounded the Lakers, 25-22. Lamar Odom added eight points off the bench for the Lakers.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Magic: Orlando Three-Pointers A Concern For Lakers

The Lakers will have their hands full today dealing with Dwight Howard of the Magic, and rightfully so. The starting center for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game for the fourth straight season, Howard just might be enjoying his finest offensive season. His usage rate of 27.4% is the highest of his career, and he is averaging a career-high 22.5 points and 11.5 free throw attempts per game. However, the Lakers must also be concerned with the prolific three-point shooting of Orlando as well.

The Magic lead the league in three-pointers made, and threes attempted this season by a wide margin. The Magic are shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc this season, which is 14th in the NBA and quite similar to the Lakers at 36.3%. But the Magic have attempted a whopping 1,419 threes this season, over 100 more than the second-place team (the Knicks) in the NBA. Orlando attempts 25.8 threes per game, about six more than the NBA league average.

Since reshaping their roster on December 18, the Magic have become even more prolific from three-point range. In two separate trades, they acquired Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark for Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 first-round pick and cash.

Orlando Long Distance Shooting 2010-2011
Split Games 3pt Att/Gm 3pt FG/Gm 3pt %
Before Trades    
26 23.7 8.3 35.2%
After Trades 29 27.7 10.2 36.9%

The Magic's offensive identity is close to what they had in 2009. They have almost a mushroom setup, with Howard in the middle surrounded by three-point shooters, with Turkoglu the man to take the big shots down the stretch, a role Carter couldn't fill. Howard is complemented by a bevy of long distance shooters.

Magic Three-Point Shooters
Player 3pt Att/Gm 3pt FG/Gm 3pt %
Jason Richardson    
5.9 2.1 35.9%
Ryan Anderson 5.3 2.1 39.6%
Jameer Nelson 4.0 1.6 39.9%
Hedo Turkoglu 3.3 1.2 36.1%
J.J. Redick 3.9 1.6 41.1%

The Lakers' best hope is to make Arenas shoot those threes, as he has attempted 3.6 three-pointers per game with the Magic, but is hitting just 25.7% of those attempts. Arenas is a career 35.2% three-point shooter, so don't expect those poor numbers to continue.

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Lakers Vs. Magic: Probable Starting Lineups

As the Los Angels Lakers seek their fifth straight win today, in Orlando against the Magic on ABC, they will do so relatively injury free. Matt Barnes, who averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 81 games with the Magic last season, is still out for the Lakers, but the Lakers have had ample time to deal with his absence. Today will be the 17th straight game missed by Barnes, who underwent right knee surgery last month.

Here are today's probable starting lineups:

Lakers (38-16)

Magic (34-21)

Brandon Bass, who has missed the last six games with a sprained left ankle, is listed as doubtful for today's game, and is day-to-day for Orlando.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Magic: Fond Memories Of Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, & The 2009 NBA Finals

As the Los Angeles Lakers look for their fifth straight win today, at Amway Center against the Orlando Magic, thoughts turn to the happy times of the 2009 NBA Finals. The Lakers beat the Magic in two of three games in Orlando to capture their 15th NBA title in five games, and the fourth championship of Kobe Bryant's (and Derek Fisher's) career. Dexter Fishmore of Silver Screen and Roll has very fond memories of those NBA Finals as well:

...my thoughts have drifted to great moments in Lakers-Magic history. There was the signing of Shaquille O'Neal in 1996. There was the 2007 acquisition of Trevor Ariza for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook (LOLZ). And of course, there was Dwight Howard's sign-and-trade deal that landed him in purple and gold in the summer of 2012. Yeah, I know that last one hasn't officially happened yet. But it's just a matter of time, folks....

My favorite Lakers-Magic memory is from the spring of 2009, when the Lake Show went into Orlando and won their 15th NBA championship. Naturally, any time your team wins a championship is an occasion to be savored. But this one was especially sweet because it was just a few months after the launch of SS&R. We were in our infancy then, but the championship help put us on the map and bring us together as a community.

Despite winning the title in just five games, the Lakers had their hands full with Orlando in that series. Two of their wins came in overtime, so a bounce here or there could have changed history. I will always remember Derek Fisher somehow getting, and hitting, and open three to tie Game 4 late, then hit another three-pointer to seal the game in overtime, followed by a wry, veteran smile.

The Magic have the talent to get back to the Finals this season, but will have their hands full in the Eastern Conference. The Heat and Celtics are forces to be reckoned with, while the Chicago Bulls have quietly played their way near the top of the conference. Orlando is just 19-17 in their last 36 games.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Travel To Orlando To Face Magic On ABC

The Los Angeles Lakers look to continue their excellent road trip as they travel to Amway Center to face the Orlando Magic in a nationally televised game on ABC. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are 4-0 to start their seven-game Grammy road trip, and are facing Dwight Howard and the Magic, who have been a rather ordinary 9-9 in their last 18 games. The Lakers and Magic split two meetings last season after the Lakers defeated them in five games to win the 2009 NBA Finals. This is their first meeting this season.

Bryant led the Lakers with 33 points Friday night at Madison Square Garden in the Lakers' 113-96 win over the Knicks. Kobe is averaging 26.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on the four-game trip, while shooting 50.7% from the field. In addition, Bryant has made eight of 14 three-pointers in the four games.

Pau Gasol added 20 points and six rebounds in New York, and is averaging 22.8 points and 8.8 rebounds on the road trip. Andrew Bynum during the trip is averaging 12.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest, and the Lakers will need both Bynum and Gasol to battle Howard in the middle.

Howard is the starting center for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game this year, and is having a fine season. He is averaging 22.5 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He has amassed 43 double-doubles this season, and has led Orlando in rebounds in 49 of 55 games this season. The Magic are 19-8 at home this season, which is the same record the Lakers have on the road.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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