Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Magic – Game 72 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (35-37) | Orlando Magic (29-43)


Thanks to a career-best effort from Austin Reaves, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their two-game losing streak after defeating the Orlando Magic 111-105

It was Lakers vs Magic at Arena in Los Angeles Sunday night. 

Lakers vs Magic Austin Reaves
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

This was a critical win for the Los Angeles Lakers, who improved to 35-37 and moved into a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for No. 9 in the Western Conference (Minnesota has the tiebreaker). 

Austin Reaves carried the offense down the stretch for the Lakers, totaling a career-high 35 points (9-for-14 FGs, 1-for-4 3s, 16-18 FTs), six rebounds, and six assists.

He’s a hell of a player. Happy he’s on our team, and we definitely needed him tonight,” Darvin Ham said of Reaves. “He’s just a flat-out hooper. He loves to hoop. Right away, you could see his confidence.”

With Reaves scoring 35, it was just the 10th time in Lakers history a player had scored 35 points off the bench. The last time this happened was when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope pulled it off in 2019 via Joey Ramirez.

Every time I take the court, I try to play with a sense of urgency and leave it all out on the floor because I just feel like that’s how basketball should be played,” Reaves said of the crowd’s “MVP” chants. “For them to do that for me is special & means a lot to me. Shoutout, Lakers Nation.”

It was time for Lakers vs Magic.

Reaves took over in a game where Anthony Davis failed to live up to expectations once more, finishing with just 15 points (6-for-15 FGs, 3-for-6 FTs), 11 rebounds, two steals, four blocks, and five turnovers.

The Lakers vs Magic start of the first half.

Lakers vs Magic Anthony Davis
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

He carried us tonight with his play. Got whatever he wanted, pick and roll, got to the line. We know what we have in Austin,” Davis said of Reaves. “I knew early on what type of player he could be, and we’re seeing it right now.”

Davis also said that he and LeBron James joked about Reaves’ ability to get foul calls, “Man, we wish we could get some of those,” Davis said.

I don’t know what to say. For him to accept me the way he accepted me from Day 1. I felt there was a really good chemistry from Day 1,” Reaves said of James. “Looking back in 20 years when I’m hopefully retired playing golf, I can my tell my kids (LeBron said that).”

Also off the bench, Dennis Schroder had 12 points (3-for-9 FGs, 3-for-6 3s, 3-for-4 FTs), three rebounds, and five assists. 

The Lakers vs Magic end of the first half.

You essentially have a starting five coming off the bench,” Ham said.

The Lakers vs Magic start of the second half.

Lakers vs Magic D'Angelo Russell
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

For the Orlando Magic, rookie Paolo Banchero totaled 21 points (8-for-20 FGs, 1-for-4 3s, 4-for-4 FTs), six rebounds, and three assists. However, he caught a technical foul with 25.3 seconds to play after repeatedly arguing with the officials.

It just puts you in a hard situation when they’re calling it like that,” Banchero said. “You want to defend without fouling, but we keep getting called. We keep fouling, I guess. We keep getting foul calls against us, so it just makes it hard, but we still had a chance to win. You can’t blame it all on that.”

The Laker crowd was looking for a moment to get going, and Reaves provided it with back-to-back buckets immediately after entering the game to pull Los Angeles within three. The Lakers rallied after trailing by as many as nine points early. Orlando’s frontcourt size was an early issue.

The Lakers bench was all over Orlando’s second unit, with a 19-6 push in the second quarter to produce a 47-31 lead. They hit five triples in the first four minutes of the second, including two apiece from Schroder and D’Angelo Russell.

The starters struggled in the first and third quarters, as they did against the Dallas Mavericks. Orlando outscored Los Angeles’ group 18-11 in the third, as Ham brought Reaves back in at the five-minute mark with the Lakers’ 10-point halftime lead down to three.

Cole Anthony hit a tying 3-pointer with 2:37 left for the Magic, who had trailed throughout the second half. Banchero fouled Reaves on a 3-point attempt a minute later, and Reaves hit two free throws before Franz Wagner tied it again.

However, Reaves hit a mid-range jumper with 57 seconds left. Banchero missed a layup and received that aforementioned technical foul that helped the Lakers seal it.

The Lakers improved to 6-5 during James’ absence, who has been out for three weeks with a sore right foot. Ham reiterated before the game that Los Angeles expects James to return before the regular season ends in three weeks.

My impression was he just didn’t mind taking chances,” Ham said on what his first impression of Reaves was. “You can tell that by the way he works on his game, which has allowed him to be what he’s becoming to be. And that’s a consistent high-level, NBA basketball player.”

I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it for this organization especially is surreal,” Reaves said. “Sometimes I have to stop and really think about what I’m doing. All of the odds were stacked against me from where I’m from.”

In other news, the Lakers are working out free agent centers Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley this week; sources told Jovan Buha. Thompson, an 11-year NBA veteran, was a key member of the 2016 championship Cleveland Cavaliers team alongside James.

The Lakers vs Magic final score was 111-105, Los Angeles.

The Lakers now take on the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, March 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game is on ESPN, Bally Sports Arizona, and Spectrum SportsNet.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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