Magic nearly reel in Lakers after slow start but drop second scrimmage game

Roy Parry, Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Magic played a solid second half but fell to 0-2 in scrimmage play at the NBA restart after a 119-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The Magic showed more purpose of play in the second half and had a better offensive showing. Orlando outscored Los Angeles 65-59 in the second half.

Magic coach Steve Clifford used all 14 of his available players and gave some of them more minutes and played them for longer stretches. He said his hope is to get to an 11-man rotation by Monday’s final scrimmage against the Nuggets.

The Magic trailed by 19 after the first quarter and by 13 at halftime before pulling within five early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by D.J. Augustin. He scored six points to spark an 11-3 run as Orlando got back in the game.

Orlando took its first lead of the game, at 92-91, with 10:10 left to play on a dunk by Mo Bamba. The lead didn’t last long. Trailing 93-92, the Magic committed a turnover and missed a shot on back-to-back possessions. The Lakers got a 3 by Dion Waiters, a free throw by J.R. Smith and an offensive rebound basket by Dwight Howard to go up seven.

The Magic pulled within three with 5:56 to play on a three-point play by Michael Carter-Williams before the Lakers slowly pulled away.

Augustin led the Magic with 21 points, while Carter-Williams finished with 15 points and Aaron Gordon had 14.

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with a game-high 25 points and LeBron James had 20.

The Magic struggled from the field in the first half as they shot just 22.0% (11 of 50) overall and 9.1% (2 of 22) from the 3-point line.

With three minutes left in the first half, no Magic player had more than two field goals. Free-throw shooting kept Orlando in the game to that point as they outscored Los Angeles 23-9 from the line.

The Lakers had no such troubles on offense, even without Anthony Davis playing the second quarter. Los Angeles shot 57.1% (20 of 35) from the field in building a 60-47 halftime lead. Kuzma scored 16 points in the half and at one point had as many field goals (6) as the Magic.

Davis, meanwhile, left the game after being poked in the eye in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Davis already had nearly registered a double-double (9 points, 10 rebounds).

Magic forward Wes Iwundu sustained a cut above his left eye after landing on his face trying to convert a fast-break dunk. It looked like Iwundu’s hand slipped off the rim as he was trying to slow his momentum after missing the dunk. He was fouled by Smith but the foul did not appear to contribute to Iwundu’s fall.

Iwundu left the game and did not return. He received four stitches for the cut and was set to be re-evaluated, according to the team. His status for the team’s scheduled practice on Sunday likely won’t be known until Sunday morning, according to a team spokesman.

Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac did not play for the second straight scrimmage but Clifford said they are making progress. Clifford said both would spend time Saturday working with the Magic’s performance staff and coaches, and the two would get in some cardio and strength work at the team’s designated workout area that is about a three- to four-minute walk from the players’ rooms.

“So that’s what those two guys would be doing today,” Clifford said before Saturday’s game.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com

rparry@orlandosentinel.com

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