Orlando has no Magic in LA
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant scored 37 of his 38 points
after halftime, including a club-record tying 24 in the fourth quarter, as the
Los Angeles Lakers erased a 19-point deficit to beat Orlando 113-110 in
Bryant sent the Staples Center crowd into a frenzy by scoring the Lakers’
final 15 points in the fourth quarter. Shaquille O’Neal added 27 points and a
season-high 22 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won six of their last eight.
Gary Payton scored 12 points and hit the deciding three-pointer in overtime
that gave the Lakers a 113-110 lead. Orlando looked for star Tracy McGrady at
the other end, but teammate DeShawn Stevenson ended up missing the final
McGrady scored 37 points with 10 assists to lead the Magic, who have dropped
four of five. Juwan Howard added 29 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
LA trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but rode Bryant’s
hot hand for a fourth-quarter comeback. The Lakers pulled within 91-86 on a
Bryant jumper inside the 8:00 mark, but Orlando went ahead by 10 moments later
and still led by double digits with 4:00 left.
Bryant then led the Lakers on a 10-0 run to close out regulation. His fadeaway
jumper at 2:22 made it a 102-100 game, and a driving layup with 41 seconds
left tied it at 102-102.
“The play that Kobe had in him tonight as a basketball player was
exceptional,” Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said.
McGrady nearly ended things in regulation on an inbounds play with 1.5 ticks
remaining. His desperation heave under heavy guard from O’Neal and Payton
banked in, but was released too late.
“I knew it wasn’t good,” McGrady said. “I just walked back to the bench.”
McGrady scored 21 of his points in the first half and led the 57 percent-
shooting Magic to a 61-50 lead at the break.
Howard added 14 first-half points for Orlando, which led by as many as 15
points in the second quarter after finishing the first with a 34-27 edge. The
Magic were ahead by 15 points as late as the 3:20 mark when McGrady made 2-
of-3 from the line after being fouled on a three-point attempt.
The Lakers then ended the period with a 6-2 burst to pull within 11 at
intermission. O’Neal scored 15 with 10 rebounds for LA in the first half.
The Lakers made a dent in Orlando’s lead when they cut it to seven points at
67-60, but the Magic used a 15-4 run to take an 82-64 advantage inside the
4:00 mark of the third quarter.
Howard scored six points during the surge and Orlando later went ahead by as
many as 19 points before carrying an 88-73 lead into the fourth quarter.