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Jamahl Mosley, Wendell Carter Jr. Return, But Magic Come Up Short Against Lakers

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Momentum, as was the case in Philadelphia the other night, was on the Orlando Magic’s side going into halftime. But once again they couldn’t preserve it, as the Los Angeles Lakers took control in the third quarter in the Magic’s 116-105 loss on Friday night at Amway Center with their head coach, Jamahl Mosley, back on the bench.

Top Performers

Jalen Suggs recorded career highs in both points (22) and assists (nine), although he did struggle with his shooting (6-of-16 overall, 1-of-7 from 3-point range) and committed six turnovers. Wendell Carter Jr., back after missing the last seven games with left hamstring soreness, scored 19 points in 19 minutes on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.

Key Stats

The Lakers took 10 fewer 3-pointers than the Magic but made two more. Normally Orlando excels at limiting their opponents from scoring in transition, but L.A. scored 19 fast break points, four more than their season average.

Injury Report

R.J. Hampton (left knee), Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), Markelle Fultz (left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), and E’Twaun Moore (left knee sprain) were out for Orlando. Right knee soreness limited Terrence Ross to just nine minutes. Anthony Davis (knee), Kendrick Nunn (knee), and Sekou Doumbouya (health and safety protocols) were unavailable for Los Angeles.

This Day in History

One of the Magic’s most lopsided victories in franchise history came on Jan. 21, 2011, when Orlando beat the Toronto Raptors by 40 points, one of eight times they’ve won by at least that many. Dwight Howard, playing in Friday’s game with the Lakers, recorded 31 points and 19 rebounds that night, while Ryan Anderson came off the bench and tallied 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Rivals Report

It’s been a topsy-turvy season for the Lakers, who sit in eighth place in the West at 23-23. It just doesn’t seem fair to truly evaluate them until they get Davis back, though. A healthy AD combined with a determined LeBron James is a duo that could do some significant damage in the playoffs. L.A.’s chances of going far in the postseason increase if Russell Westbrook figures out his niche with this team. To this point, the nine-time All-Star and former league MVP hasn’t gotten into much of a rhythm.

Quote of the Night

“A lot of phone calls, conversations, text messages, looking at different lineups, looking at different situations, talking with the other coaches as well. It was just constant communication, so it was really good between our medical staff and Jesse (Mermuys). It was a really good level of communication.” Mosley on staying connected with the team while in health and safety protocols

Up Next

The Magic’s five-game homestand continues Sunday with Nikola Vucevic and the Chicago Bulls in town. Tip-off will be 6 p.m. This will be the third of four meetings between the Magic and Bulls. On Nov. 26, in Vucevic’s first game back in Orlando, Chicago’s Big Three combined for 60 points in a Bulls victory. On Jan. 3, the Magic got 22 points from Franz Wagner and 21 from Carter, a former Bull, but Chicago, led by DeMar DeRozan and his 29 points, edged Orlando in the Windy City.