LOS ANGELES — The LA Lakers avenged their 19-point loss two weeks ago in Orlando as they held the Magic to just 35 points in the second half to improve to .500 [10-10] at home, winning 112-95.
Head coach Luke Walton specifically referred to the 109-90 loss in Orlando, suggesting his team had been pushed around in that contest.
Not the case this time around with rookie Brandon Ingram scoring 12 of his career-high 17 points in the fourth quarter. Ingram has now scored in double-figures in three consecutive games, the longest streak of his career so far.
“We’re big fans of what he can do on the basketball court,” Walton said after the game. “Whether he’s shooting 1-of-8 or scoring 17 points, we keep leaving him out there because we know what he’s capable of.”
For Ingram to be able to have the freedom to operate, though, there needs to be a consistency around him on the floor.
Randle finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists, with Russell posting a final stat-line of 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. More impressively, Russell shot 7-of-10 from the floor.
The team’s claim to fame Sunday came on the defensive end, where the Lakers held their opponent to below 100 points for just the eighth time this season. With the way the game started – both sides shooting over 68 percent from the field – the defensive performance in the second half was very much a pleasant surprise.
The Lakers held the Magic to just nine points in the third quarter on 10 percent shooting (2-20) – an opponent season low for points and shooting percentage in a quarter.
“We were the aggressors, 100%,” Walton said. “We were talking, we were calling plays out, we were calling our coverages out early. We were into the ballhandlers. We were making our rotations from the weakside better than we had all season.”