Denton: Magic vs. Lakers Analysis (1/24/14)


By John Denton
Jan. 24, 2014

ORLANDO – Out seven weeks earlier this season after suffering a high ankle sprain that he deemed one of the worst injuries of his basketball life, Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris quietly wondered when his explosiveness would finally come all the way back.

Harris revealed recently that he was still playing through pain in the ankle, but that he wasn’t about to miss anymore games considering how the injury had already put a major damper on what he had hoped would be a breakout season.

Healthier by the day and once again resembling the player who piled up statistics in bunches last season, Harris showed off his massive potential with a stellar 28-point, 20-rebound performance in the Magic’s 114-105 defeat of the reeling Los Angeles Lakers.

Orlando (12-32) won for just the second time this season (in 26 tries) when a foe scored 100 points and the second time (in 16 tries) when starting center Nikola Vucevic was out injured. On this night, it didn’t matter much what the woeful, injury-ravaged Lakers (16-28) did because of the offensive assault put on by Harris, who made nine of 15 shots and notched the first 20-point, 20-rebound game of his three-year NBA career.

``The ankle is about the same, but it’s just about me adapting on it,’’ Harris said. ``(The pain is) still there and it takes a long time to heal. In the NBA when you are playing games every other day it’s kind of hard to get the rest that it needs. But I can play on it so I’m going to play. I’m just going to do what I can to help my team.’’


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