L.A. Lakers 105, Orlando 98
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12 (Ticker) --
With Kobe Bryant
slowed by a sore left
foot, a pair of unlikely heroes led the Los Angeles Lakers to
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and Chris Mihm
each scored 25 points and the
Lakers closed the game with an 11-4 run for a 105-98 victory
over the Orlando Magic.
The Magic held a 36-24 lead early in the second quarter when
Jones took over. He hit six straight 3-pointers and scored 22
points over the next 10 minutes to reduce the deficit to just
59-56 three points at intermission.
"The team really go me involved once they saw I had the hot
hand," Jones said. "And once you make two or three shots in a
row you get really confident. The team had a lot of confidence
in me and ran plays to get me open looks."
Jones' 22 points in the quarter were two short of the team
record set by Elgin Baylor and matched by Jerry West and Bryant,
who scored 24 in a quarter against Orlando on March 15, 2004.
"He can really shoot the ball," Lamar Odom
said of Jones'
performance. "We have known that all year. He is confident and
we are confident in him. He really did one heck of a job
Orlando guard Steve Francis
, who had a spectacular one-handed
dunk over Mihm in the fourth quarter, complimented Jones'
performance after the game.
"Jones was throwing up shots sky high," Francis said. "Hitting
the top of the Staples center and dropping. Every guy is
entitled to have a career day and this was his career day. It
just happened to be against us."
buried a baseline jumper to pull Orlando into 94-94
tie with 4:05 to go. Mihm put Los Angeles ahead for good 41
seconds later with a short jumper.
added a free throw and Francis answered with an
acrobatic layup before Jones, who had not taken a shot since the
second quarter, buried his seventh 3-pointer for a 100-96 lead
with 1:59 to go. He was surprised that he was left him open for
so many shots.
"After the second quarter I guess they decided they'd better put
some one on me," Jones said. "I was surprised at the look I got
late in the game after I had been hitting shots. I've only been
getting two or three looks a game and you've got to knock those
shots down and tonight I was able to get some shots off."
Bryant added a pair of free throws 59 seconds later to clinch
the win. After playing 45 minutes on his sore left foot Saturday
against the Clippers, he scored 23 points on just 6-of-23
In addition to his career high in points, Mihm had 14 rebounds
as the Lakers outrebounded the Magic, 48-43.
"I just wanted to come up big tonight," Mihm said. "We needed this
'W' tonight as we are starting on a road trip our next game. I
am just happy with the way we all played. Guys really stepped up
Bryant was happy with the way his team played and especially
Jones' contribution off the bench.
"We needed that tonight," Bryant said. "Jumaine came in and was on
fire. We razzed him a little bit because he missed a wide open
jumper last game and he came back tonight and more than redeemed
himself for it."
Francis had 27 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds and Hill
returned from a two-game absence due to a sore shin and scored
16 points for Orlando, which lost its eighth road meeting with
"We were outdone down the stretch by loose balls and felonious
calls is what hurt us at the end of the game," Francis said. "Our
guys were taking it to the basket. We were getting hammered the
same way their guys were but they were getting the calls and we
weren't. Not to take anything away from them, they played hard.
They had guys come in and have career days."
Hill returned to the lineup after missing the Golden State game
with a sore shin.
"Hill has been terrific for us," Magic coach Johnny Davis said. "He
was out the last game and that was due to his shin, not his
ankle. His ankle has held up nicely. He's been very consistent