Magic's Top Performers vs. Lakers
By Josh Cohen
Jan. 31, 2018
Frank Vogel’s decision to start Speights at the four to match L.A.’s size in the frontcourt proved wise as the Florida native had one of his best games of the season. He racked up a season-best 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Speights transformed into one of the better stretch fives last season with the Clippers, and he has continued his 3-point excellence this year with the Magic.
The Magic set a franchise record for most threes in a quarter when they buried nine in the third. Fournier played a big part in Orlando making history as he knocked down four of his five 3-pointers in that quarter. He scored 19 points before resting all of the fourth. The six-year NBA veteran is shooting a shade under 40 percent from beyond the arc this season and 38 percent for his career.
Payton filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. He set the tone early with some aggressive drives inside, and then did a solid job facilitating for his teammates in the third when the Magic busted the game open. Among all starting point guards, Payton ranks first in the league in field goal percentage.
Since his playing time increased more than a month ago, Hezonja has shown tremendous improvement. He’s been a triple-threat – as projected of him when he was drafted fifth overall in 2015. He’s shooting it with confidence, making sharp passes and using his athleticism and agility to drive and finish inside. During Wednesday’s win over the Lakers, Hezonja recorded 14 points, shot 4-of-5 from 3-point distance, dished out three assists and grabbed four rebounds.
Mack is among the league leaders in assist to turnover ratio, which embodies how observant and alert he is on the floor. He’s been rolling lately and had another splendid game on Wednesday with 13 points, seven assists and just one turnover. Mack has also been one of the Magic’s most dependable defenders, which isn’t a surprise considering he helped his prior teams rank at the top of the league in multiple defensive categories.