GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 21 20 19 15 75
Play by Play Orlando Magic 24 21 22 22 89


Magic get big day from Howard, down Lakers, 89-75

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Dwight Howard had 31 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic earned their first victory over a winning team in more than a month, downing the Los Angeles Lakers 89-75 on Sunday.

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum each had 17 points to lead the Lakers. Lamar Odom added 15 and Pau Gasol 11.

Jason Richardson chipped in 12 points for the Magic.

Orlando rebounded from a six-point home loss to New Orleans on Friday and a snapped a string of eight straight losses to teams with winning records. Orlando's previous win against a team above .500 was Jan. 8 at Dallas.

The Lakers' loss snapped a four-game winning streak. They conclude their seven-game road trip with visits to Charlotte on Monday and Cleveland on Wednesday.

Howard scored his eighth straight point to give the Magic a 71-60 edge with just under 10 minutes to play in the game.

The Lakers scored five straight, but the Magic quickly responded with six straight points - including a pair of baskets by Brandon Bass - to increase their lead to 77-65 at the 7:48 mark.

Bass, who had missed the previous six games with a sprained left ankle, didn't start Sunday, but made his first appearance since Jan. 31 with 7:56 left in the first quarter after Ryan Anderson picked up his second foul.

Howard was fouled on a put back dunk by Gasol with 5:38 left, and his ensuing free-throw made it 84-69. The Lakers closed to within 13 points, but never got any closer.

Orlando came out of halftime hot from the field and built a 56-47 lead with 6:38 to play in the third.

Los Angeles used a 9-2 run to trim it to 58-56 with 3:37 left, forcing a Magic timeout.

But the Magic closed the quarter on a 9-4 spurt, capped by a desperation heave, turned alley-oop by Howard at the buzzer. Orlando guard Gilbert Arenas dribbled the ball off his foot in the closing seconds and tossed a wild shot toward the basket. Howard caught it and dunked it just before the horn to give the Magic a 67-60 lead entering the final quarter.

Orlando took a 45-41 advantage into the break, playing one of their most balanced offensive halves in several weeks.

Richardson, who came into Sunday's game having connected on just 12 of his previous 34 shots from the field, had a team-high 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting.

The Lakers stayed close thanks to 13 first-half points by Bryant and 11 from Bynum.

Bynum was active early underneath and had team-high nine points and six rebounds in the first period to lead Los Angeles.

The Lakers played Howard straight up defensively when Bynum was in the game and then used a combination of Gasol and Odom when Bynum was on the bench.

Howard led the Magic with nine points and five rebounds in the opening 12 minutes. He stayed clear of foul trouble until being whistled for his second personal - via a charge on Gasol - with just 17 seconds left in the quarter.

NOTES: Lakers F Matt Barnes missed his 18th straight game on Sunday with torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. Coach Phil Jackson said he has been on the court doing some shooting recently and hopes he will begin practicing again when the team returns to L.A. from its current road trip ... The Magic set a new single-game, franchise attendance record of 19,193 ... The Magic led at the end of the first-quarter for the first time in three games ... The Lakers were whistled for just three fouls in the first half on Sunday.


Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



84 The previous fewest number of points scored by the Lakers in Orlando, which came on 3/23/97, prior to Sunday's contest. It was also a season-low in points on the season, the previous coming in a loss to Milwaukee (98-79).

39.6 L.A.'s field goal percentage in a poor offensive first half, in which the Lakers made only 1-of-8 triples, 2-of-5 free throws and 18-of-40 two-pointers.

31 Points for Dwight Howard, for whom the Lakers didn't have an answer throughout. They let him get off 16 shots, of which he made 13, forcing him to shoot only six foul shots, five of which came in the fourth quarter, and he added 13 boards with three blocks.

17 Scoring total for Andrew Bynum, who added nine rebounds and two steals before leaving in the fourth quarter after banging knees. He helped the Lakers hold a slight edge in the paint at 44-40, but that would prove inconsequential as the Lakers were terrible from the perimeter (2-of-16 threes).

11 Points for Pau Gasol, who had one of his least impactful games of the season, adding only four boards and three assists in 35 minutes.




View More Photos


Points Bryant, Bynum 17
Rebounds Bynum 6 OFF 3 DEF 9
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Brown 3
Blocks Artest 2

POSTGAME QUOTES

Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson:

“Didn’t shoot the ball very well, I thought our defense was okay, just didn’t shoot the ball very well.”

On difference in first and second half for Lakers:
“I told the team going into the fourth period, the first three minutes are really critical.  We got beat in the first quarter by three and every quarter we were lost by a couple points and we couldn’t allow that to slide to go any farther.  They got a couple plays that made a difference in the ball game, a couple drives.  We missed a couple shots and changed the game from a six to 12 point game just like that.”

On coverage on Dwight Howard:
“We could have doubled up but we thought we did a pretty good job in the first half, we weren’t that concerned about it.  Even at the end of the game we really weren’t that concerned about Howard, we were concerned about the other plays we miss played.”

On defensive performance today:
“It was okay, that’s what I said earlier, it was okay.”

On Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard Match up:
“He did pretty good the first half the second half he let him get too deep.  He was close to the basket on the spin move and was able to put it in.

On Lakers’ shooting in the game:
“We had good looks.  We were two for 16 at the three, I think there was only one three pointer that I can think of that was not a good shot, or a rushed shot.  Did we shoot 50 percent from the free throw line?  I don’t think we even hit 50 percent from the free throw line.  Just those were indicative of what we were doing.  We can have much better flow throughout the game, that’s a really big thing we were unhappy about.”

On being 4 and 1 going into Charlotte:
“Well I told the players since they took part of the day off today, maybe tomorrow we can get after it in Charlotte and just redeem ourselves against them.”    

On Lakers play in second half:
“I looked at things like rebounds and that says something to me about the hustle and the effort we were making.  Not getting second shots, which is one of the things we do really well it’s an indicative part of our game.”

On Lakers performance in Sunday games:
“We’re better than we showed today, Sunday’s have been a factor for us no doubt about it.” 

On free throw shooting today:
“I think some of that is the arena.  We didn’t get to practice in here yesterday.  I think the depth of this arena is really kind of a difficulty for guys just getting use to the first time in the building.  That’s one of the things I will make an excuse my players a little bit on that.  It’s something you adjust to as a player.”

 







Kobe Bryant:

“It was a great performance by him (Howard).  He had a phenomenal game.”

“I think they did a great job defensively.  They tried to keep us on the perimeter as much as possible and take contested shots.  When our bigs got looks down low, they were physical with them and tried to make them take tough shots.  They did a great job defensively.”

(on comparing this team vs. Magic team they faced in NBA Finals) “Rashard obviously was a big-time floor spreader for them, but Anderson has come in there and does an incredible job.  He is a phenomenal shooter and spaces the floor.  Dwight is a much, much better player than he was when we faced them in The Finals.”

(if there is an adjustment period playing in new Amway center for first time) “Maybe a little bit, but not much.  This is a great facility.  Maybe the best in the league.”

(on Howard’s offensive improvement and whether he is MVP candidate) “Of course he is.  Every year he is.  He (Howard) has a mid-range jump shot that he seems very comfortable with off the glass.  His post moves and being able to turn right shoulder and left shoulder is something that he has worked on and he looks good.”

“I was too far away from the basket tonight and just tried to facilitate a little too much.  There weren’t too many free throws on our part so the game didn’t slow down.  As a result, the quarters went by faster.  I should have been a little more aggressive getting to the post a little bit more.””






Pau Gasol:

“We had a lot of good looks and just didn’t convert.  I would have liked us to be a little more aggressive.  We settled a little bit too much on outside shooting.  Once they don’t fall, you have to search for something different but we really didn’t do it very well.”

“We kind of let him (Howard) off the hook.  We didn’t attack him on the other end at all.  He kept going down our throats on one end and the other end we didn’t attack him or make him play us at all.”










Andrew Bynum:

“Offensively we were really stagnate.  Defensively, we could have done a little bit better.  This was a winnable game as far as points go, but we didn’t put any up.  We weren’t making shots and we weren’t getting into the offense and not doing the things that we practice on everyday.”

(on how well he felt he defended Howard) “I felt I did a pretty decent job.  He made some tough shots underneath.  The stuff we could have eliminated were things going to the rim and lobs.  We have to get to his body and can’t be scared to touch the guy.”

“He (Howard) got going.  The key really was dunks.  He had two in the first half and like six or seven  in the second half.  You can’t let him do that.  You have to make him work for all his baskets.”




Lamar Odom:

“We played against a team that really wanted to win.  We just didn’t move the ball enough as a team.  We didn’t really get the shots that we wanted throughout the game.”

“They got hot from the outside and made shots.   When we don’t make shots, that’s when we have to move the ball and really take our time and take good shots.”

 







Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy:

“I thought we put a lot into that game. We played nine guys, I thought all nine of them gave an absolutely tremendous effort. I thought our individual defense was the best it’s been all year. I thought Jason Richardson did all he could. There’s only so much you can do with Kobe Bryant, but he was disciplined, he was tough, he didn’t give him anything easy. The few minutes Turk was on him I thought he defended him well and I thought our team defense was very, very good. Our rebounding got better, it was bad early in the game. We played throughout the game, there was not really a bad stretch for us today. And that what it’s going to take against quality teams. We were start to finish today, we played much harder and much better. I think that shows us at least who we can be, who we can be. Now what you have to get to is a consistency of that type of effort and intensity.”

On Dwight Howard playing with three fouls…
“I thought he was very smart. I thought he did have to give away a couple of possessions. But what I thought was good was as the game went on and he got further along with the three fouls and was in less problems, his defense picked up aggressiveness again. I thought he played it exactly right. I thought he played it very, very smart. Obviously, he had a heck of a game.”

On closing out the game well in the 4th quarter…
“I thought we closed it out real well. Now it wasn’t real close even down the stretch. I thought we did a very good job of closing it out. I thought our execution was good. I thought we slowed the ball down when we should’ve, ran it at other times. I thought our decision making was better. Everything was better tonight.”

On the difficulty of guarding the Lakers because of their size…
“It’s just tough. We had a few drives early and plays inside where we were shooting very, very difficult shots against length. We made the point, that’s all you can do.  We did take some very difficult shots, and they were difficult because of their length.”

On if he feels Dwight should be more talked about in the race for MVP…
“Look, I’ve said that for a couple years here. There are a lot of great players in this league. I’ve never quibbled with anyone who’s ever won an MVP. Nobody is going to get an MVP that is not a great player or didn’t do great things. But I just don’t think there is anybody else who impacts as many possessions in a game as he does. Part of it is because of his position inside, but we went through an 11-game stretch before the Boston game, so playing some very good teams, where Charles Klask went through back through some stuff and with Dwight on the floor, teams were shooting 42 percent against us and with Dwight on the bench people were shooting 48 percent against us. That’s huge. That’s going from a league-leading team to one of the worst defensive teams in the league. He’s impacting that end of the floor, plus his numbers are great. I just don’t know if anybody else impacts that many possessions in a game. Do I think he should be the MVP? Yes. I do. But I also understand that I’m not an unbiased observer. I’m very biased, I see it every night. But no question in my mind.”








Dwight Howard:

“I just personally think we have to be consistent in whatever we do. The way we played tonight is the way we have to play if we want to be considered a great team. If we continue to do that there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be chasing another championship.”

“Just total team effort. We made sure we took care of the ball. We played pretty good defense the whole 48 minutes. We made them take tough shots. We did just about every night what we need to do to win.”

“I want every game. Like I said we just have to be consistent, the whole team if we want to contend for the title. We played like a team tonight that wanted to win. We just have to do that every night.”







Gilbert Arenas:

“I think we started the game off well. We didn’t play from behind. We just played a consistent game all the way through. We pushed the lead.”

“I just threw it up there. I didn’t shoot I just tried to throw it toward the basket. Stan (Van Gundy) has this thing just make sure you throw it toward something. I threw it to the basket and he jumped and dunked it.”

“Every game counts now. After the All-Star break we have about 25 (games) left. So we have to go through these games and be mentally ready for them.”






Jason Richardson:                                                                                        

(On always leading the charge with the run) “That comes from my Michigan State days. I’ve played that way my whole career. Every team I’ve played for has been a running team. I’m a runner, that’s my best in open court getting down there getting fast breaks; layups, dunks, whatever it is. I’m just trying to drag a couple of guys with me and to open it up little bit more to get easy baskets.”

(On playing against Kobe Bryant in Western Conference) “It helped me a lot. Most of the time he got the best of me. There were big games where he got 40-50 points on me. Tonight was one of those things where I just played him tough and limited him on getting to the free throw line. Just make him work really hard for it. He made some huge shots on me, but I think I did a pretty good job tonight.”








LAKERS VS. MAGIC GAME PREVIEW

By BRETT HUSTON, STATS Writer

The Los Angeles Lakers have heard questions all year about whether they're cut out for a fourth straight trip to the NBA finals, and those only grew louder during a recent stretch of five losses in nine games.

The Lakers' current road trip is leaving little doubt they're primed for another deep postseason run.

Los Angeles looks to make it 5 for 5 on the trip Sunday afternoon against the Orlando Magic, who are struggling against top competition and seem to have coach Stan Van Gundy quickly losing patience.

The Lakers (38-16) suffered one three-game losing streak en route to winning the past two NBA championships, so a little doubt began to surface after a four-game skid in late November and a three-game slide in late December.

Los Angeles went 4-5 prior to its seven-game road trip, but if it can channel its performance since leaving Staples Center once the playoffs begin, coach Phil Jackson's team should be in good shape. The Lakers won tight contests at New Orleans, Memphis and Boston before routing the Knicks 113-96 on Friday night.

"We're feeling good about what we're doing," said Pau Gasol, who's averaged 22.8 points on the trip. "We've been successful playing the way we're playing. Active defensively. Understanding the important job on the defensive end and then playing pretty solid on the offensive end. We like the way things are going. We just got to keep it up."

Los Angeles shot 53.6 percent against the Knicks - its first time above 50 percent in eight games - but it's really stepped up defensively. The Lakers have held their last three opponents to an average of 88.7 points and 40.4 percent shooting.

Los Angeles is now 19-10 against teams with winning records, while Orlando (34-21) has had plenty of trouble beating good opponents. The Magic fell to 11-16 versus above-.500 teams with a 99-93 home loss to New Orleans on Friday.

During Orlando's 9-9 stretch since Jan. 12, it's 0-8 against teams with winning records - much to Van Gundy's dismay.

"Right now if you just look at the results, bottom line is that we can't beat a good team," Van Gundy said. "… We haven't been able to play at the level we need to play. It's going to have to change.

"We get another chance on Sunday, but we haven't been able to raise our game to that level."

Dwight Howard's done everything he can over the past month, averaging 25.1 points and 15.5 rebounds, but big games from the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year haven't equaled wins. The Magic are 2-6 in that stretch when Howard scores 25 or more and 7-3 when he scores 22 or fewer.

Howard has averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in the Lakers' last two trips to Orlando - both Magic victories.

Finding secondary help has been Orlando's biggest problem. Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson,Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas are shooting a combined 38.9 percent in the past 18 games - nearly six percent beneath what they'd shot in Magic uniforms prior to Jan. 12.

Perhaps Nelson, who's averaged 10.2 points in his last nine games, can step up Sunday. Orlando has won three of four from the Lakers the past two seasons, and Nelson has averaged 23.3 points in the victories.

Kobe Bryant has averaged 34.0 points in his last seven road games against the Magic, though he's also averaged 26.7 attempts.



Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




Lakers Matt Barnes (right knee surgery) is not with team.
Devin Ebanks
(sore left knee) is questionable.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is not with team.

Brandon Bass (sprained left ankle) is doubtful.
Daniel Orton
(left knee arthroscopic surgery) is out.



2/13 - LAL @ ORL
3/14 - ORL @ LAL


Orlando is a versatile team that can run, hit three point shots or pound the ball inside to Dwight Howard. Howard is an imposing athlete and dominant inside player who has improved his all around game. He runs hard in their early offensive attack and will create deep position in the paint where he can seal his man and get quick and easy scoring opportunities. If he is able to get this deep post position then the defense is in danger. The defense frequently will foul or have to double team when he gets the kind of position he wants.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers split last season's series with Orlando 1-1, after dropping the 2008-09 season series with the Magic 0-2 for the first time in series history. The Magic and Lakers have met 43 times in the regular season with Los Angeles holding a 31-12 advantage in the all-time series. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 overall meetings but are just 2-4 in their last six regular season contests. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Magic in regular season contests. In Orlando, the Lakers are 6-4 against the Magic in their last 10 regular season meetings. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 15-5 against Orlando in the regular season. In 24 games against Orlando including 20 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.7 points. In the Magic and Lakers first meeting of last season December 20 in Orlando, Bryant scored 41 points to equal his own Lakers-Magic series record established during the 2004-05 season when he scored 41 points on November 12, 2004. Former Laker Shaquille O'Neal holds the Magic high mark against the Lakers with 46 points back in March of 1995. Bryant recorded his first triple-double since 2005 with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists against the Magic on 1/16/09. The Lakers defeated the Magic in five games during the 2009 NBA Finals, marking the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs. Prior to the 2009 NBA Finals, head coach Phil Jackson had faced Orlando twice in the playoffs as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, dropping the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Magic in six games but then sweeping the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals the following year. Lakers forward Matt Barnes averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds last season as a member of the Orlando Magic. Additionally, Luke Walton and Magic guard Gilbert Arenas played collegiately together at the University of Arizona.

GONE FOR THE GRAMMYS
On Friday, February 4th, the Lakers headed to New Orleans, embarking on their annual Grammys Trip. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-2000 season, the venue has been host to the Grammy Awards each winter, with the exception of the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden.

BACK-TO-BACK
Sunday's game against Orlando is the first of a back-to-back set with the Magic and Bobcats. This season, the Lakers are 7-3 in the first game and 9-1 in the second of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

THE COMEBACK KIDS
In their 92-86 victory at Boston February 10, the Lakers overcame a 15-point deficit to defeat the Celtics at TD Garden. The Lakers only other road come from behind victory when trailing by at least 15 points over the past six seasons came with a 16-point comeback win at Chicago on March 21, 2009. Furthermore, the game against the Celtics marked just the second regular season game between the two teams in the last 20 seasons in which each team entered the game at least 20 games above .500. The other matchup occurred on February 5, 2009 at TD Garden, when the Celtics held a 41-9 record and the Lakers were 39-9. The Lakers went on to win that contest with a 110-109 overtime victory.*

30-30 COMBO
In the Lakers 101-95 victory at New Orleans February 5, both Pau Gasol (34) and Kobe Bryant (32) scored 30-plus points in the same contest for the first time since March 1, 2009 at Phoenix, and for the sixth time since becoming teammates in February of 2008. The Lakers are now 5-1 when Bryant and Gasol both score 30-plus points in the same contest. Back on February 4th, 2009, Bryant and Gasol became the first Lakers teammates to post back-to-back 30-point games together since Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal did so on April 10th and 13th, 2003. Bryant and O'Neal both scored 30-plus points in the same contest 33 times as teammates, with the Lakers posting a 27-6 record in those games.

LAKERS COMMIT JUST FOUR TURNOVERS WHILE LIMITING OPPONENT TO A FRANCHISE-LOW FOUR FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
In the Lakers 101-95 victory at New Orleans February 5, the Lakers committed just four turnovers, with New Orleans failing to record a single steal. The last time the Lakers had only four turnovers in a game came in a 110-90 victory over Minnesota on March 6, 2009. The Lakers committed a franchise-low three turnovers in a game on December 30, 2001 in a 114-90 victory vs. Houston. Furthermore, the Hornet's four free throw attempts marks a Lakers opponent franchise-low for free throw attempts in a game in the shot clock era. The previous franchise-low of five opponent free-throw attempts occurred twice, 4/7/06 at Phoenix and 1/6/02 at Toronto.

BRYANT PASSES HAKEEM OLAJUWON FOR 8th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a fast break dunk at the 3:29 mark of the first quarter 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Kobe Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) for 8th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Earlier this month, Bryant moved past Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans and Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit on the all-time list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.5 ppg), Bryant (27,168) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant are Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409). Among the top eight scorers in NBA history, more than half (5) have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Wilt Chamberlain (4th), Shaquille O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (8th)).

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), he passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th. Last season, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).






Pick n Roll

Play the Lakers Pick n Roll game for your chance to win tickets to a Lakers game. Just make your picks of which Lakers will lead the team and watch the game to see how you do. Be sure to play the Lakers Pick n Roll game every game home and away as a part of our season long contest.

Login to Lakers Courtside Connection to make your picks