Magic Fall to Lakers in Carter, Porter and Hampton’s Orlando Debuts

by Josh Cohen

The Lead

Making their Orlando Magic debuts on Sunday night were Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. ad R.J. Hampton, and all three had impressive moments. However, inefficient shooting as well as costly fouls and box out breakdowns down the stretch denied the Magic from overcoming a late deficit in their 96-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Top Performer

Expect Dwayne Bacon’s offensive numbers to increase significantly the rest of the season. The Magic brought him in during the offseason figuring he could provide a scoring boost, and now more than ever he will be able to showcase his abilities. Much of them were displayed on Sunday, as the 6-foot-6, 221-pounder scored a career-high 26 points.

Player Spotlights

In his first game with his new team, Hampton, a 20-year-old with a unique blend of skills, posted a career high in scoring. He tallied 10 points in only 17 minutes of action. Carter, meanwhile, finished with eight points and eight rebounds. He had a dunk with 30.9 seconds in the fourth to pull Orlando within three. Porter, an eight-year NBA veteran, recorded five points and four rebounds, but he missed a 3-pointer at the final buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

Key Stretch

After Bacon and Hampton hit back-to-back shots midway through the fourth to give the Magic a five-point lead, the Lakers responded with a 17-5 run to reclaim control. Dennis Schroder scored eight of his 24 points in that stretch and Kyle Kuzma had five of his 21.

Injury Report

Michael Carter-Williams left Sunday’s game in the second quarter with a right knee contusion and didn’t return. Terrence Ross (sore right knee), Cole Anthony (non-displaced fracture, right rib), Markelle Fultz (torn ACL, left knee) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) were also out. For the Lakers, LeBron James (right high ankle sprain), Anthony Davis (right calf strain) and Jared Dudley (right MCL tear) didn’t play. Andre Drummond, who signed with L.A. on Sunday after his buyout from Cleveland, will likely make his Lakers debut in their next game.

Key Stats

For the sixth time in their last nine games, the Magic failed to reach the 100-point mark. They also shot under 40 percent from the field for the third time in this stretch. Against the league’s best defensive team, the Lakers, Orlando shot just 38.6% from the floor and 33.3% from 3-point range.

Quote of the Night

“I think the little things (we made mistakes with). I think we all played hard, played to win. Everybody came out and competed. Just (about) fine tuning some little things. We got a lot of new guys. We are a very young team. Down the stretch, those key plays that we got to make. I think over the course of (the rest of) the season, we will definitely do that.” – Hampton

Up Next

The Magic return to STAPLES Center on Tuesday for a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers at 10 p.m. ET. The Clippers have won five straight and seven of their nine. In their most recent victory against the 76ers, Kawhi Leonard registered 28 points and Paul George scored 24. At the trade deadline, they acquired Rajon Rondo, who was part of the Lakers’ championship squad last season, in exchange for Lou Williams.

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