Here is what you need to know before the Lakers face off with the Orlando Magic.

1) Dwight threw it back to Orlando

Only fitting that Dwight Howard is facing the Magic after his last game looked like his days of playing in Central Florida.

Howard was an absolute beast in Monday’s win over Cleveland, dropping 21 points and 15 rebounds — both season-highs — while shooting 9-of-11 from the field. He even drained a late (no-hesitation) 3-pointer to truly put the game on ice.

And while his trey was the highlight of the night, his above-the-rim play was what helped the Lakers capture victory. He thrived in the screen-and-roll game, throwing down seven dunks on the night.


2) Lake Show got historic on the Cavs

Few expected the Lakers to trail at halftime in Monday’s game against Cleveland, but the upstart Cavaliers had themselves a strong first 24 minutes. However, the last 24 would be extremely different.

The Lakers scored 81 points over the final two quarters — their highest-scoring half in 33 years — to turn a one-point deficit at the break into a 29-point victory.

L.A. shot 64.4% from the field in their second-half scorcher. And, per usual, LeBron James was steering the ship, going 9-of-10 for 23 points in the back half (and 31 on the night).


3) Beware of the Magic’s defense

No team holds their opponents to fewer points than Orlando, whose defense has suffocated foes to an average of 103.5 per game. The issue for the Magic has been that their offense is also last in scoring (103.8).

Still, although two-way force Jonathan Isaac may be out for the foreseeable future, the Magic do have some weapons to worry about. Nikola Vucevic (18.8 points, 11.4 rebounds) appears back to his All-Star form of last year, while Evan Fournier (19.2 points) has been one of the season’s premier outside threats.

And the Lakers would be wise to remember the last time they faced the Magic. They held Orlando to a mere nine points in the first quarter, but had to hold on for victory when the Magic roared back in the second half.

Injury Report
Lakers:
Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) is questionable. Rajon Rondo (non-displaced fracture, right ring finger) and DeMarcus Cousins (right knee rehabilitation) are out.

Magic: Michael Carter-Williams (left shoulder; AC joint sprain) is questionable. D.J. Augustin (sore left knee) is doubtful. Jonathan Isaac (left knee; posterior lateral corner injury and medial bone contusion) and Al-Farouq Aminu (right knee; torn meniscus) are out.

Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Purple Statement
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California



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