ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 12 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant
tried to rally the Los
Angeles Lakers, but the Orlando Magic had too many answers.
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scored 32 points against his former coach as the
Magic continued their solid start with a 122-113 victory over
Bryant tried to take matters into his own hands, scoring 16 of
his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter, but Orlando's
superior depth proved decisive down the stretch.
The Lakers cut a 15-point deficit to four midway through the
fourth quarter on Bryant's running jumper and free throw with
five minutes to play. But Orlando's bench, which outscored the
Lakers, 54-13, hit key shots down the stretch to preserve the
Four Magic players scored at least 20 points. Grant Hill
contributed 27 points and 12 rebounds while Hedo Turkoglu
added 23 and 21 points, respectively.
Francis, who spent the first four years of his career playing
for Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich in Houston, hit a jumper from
the top of the key to make it 113-106 with 2:20 left.
"Both teams played well," Francis said. "We were able to
out-shoot them. It was like a Texas shootout."
The crowd-pleasing, up-tempo style has brought some excitement
back to the Magic, who had the NBA's worst record last season
"We had everyone contributing tonight," Garrity said. "We had
guys hitting some big shots. I'll take our (team's) chances
rather than one guy having to make hard shots all night."
The Lakers shot 64 percent in the first quarter to open a 37-21
lead. But Orlando erased the deficit by outscoring Los Angeles
36-19 in the second quarter, when the Magic shot 67 percent to
the Lakers' 24 percent.
"We gave ourselves an opportunity to win this game," said
Bryant, whose 41 points matched Dirk Nowitzki
for the NBA season
high. "It just didn't work out. Next time, we have to figure
out a way to win."
The Magic shot a season-high 50 percent (44-of-88) from the
field, including 55 percent (12-of-22) from beyond the arc.
"(The Lakers) came out and ran," Hill said. "They didn't miss
in the first quarter. But we're an explosive team, it's just a
matter of when are we going to explode. We did there in the
second quarter and that got us back into the game."
Hill, who is looking more comfortable with each passing game as
he tries to stay healthy, put the finishing touches on Orlando's
win with a pair of 3-pointers.
Orlando dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Lakers,
50-32. It also had a 27-15 edge in fast-break points.
"They got extra possessions because they killed us on the
boards," Tomjanovich said. "Both teams got a high efficiency
and we couldn't get them stopped."