The Los Angeles Lakers beat one draft lottery-bound team from Florida on Friday night and will look to make it a trend when they host the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Luke Walton’s young team will be looking for improvement on their only other match-up against Orlando this season, when they pulled a loss out of their hat by giving up a 10-0 run to start the game and never really contesting the outcome after that.
For the Lakers to avoid getting swept in their annual Disneyland vs. Disneyworld series, it would help if rookie forward Brandon Ingram could summon the same voodoo he did on Friday. Ingram tied a career-high with 17 efficient points in one of his most spellbinding performances of the year against Miami, and the Lakers should have had him perform whatever occult rituals he did before playing in that game over the weekend.
In what was possibly a feat of necromancy, the Lakers have also been able to raise Luol Deng back to the land of the living over his past five games. During that sample size, Deng boasts the Lakers’ best net-rating, with the team outscoring their opponents by a borderline supernatural 15.5 points per 100 possessions while he is on the floor.
Deng continued his wizardry on Friday when he dropped 19 points on the his former team, his second-highest scoring game since apparating onto the Lakers roster over the summer.
The Lakers definitely shouldn’t Google Fournier, but they will need both of their aforementioned forwards (and everyone else) to guard him. The 6-7 wing player has conjured a team-leading 17.2 points per game this season for the Magic, who are 4-6 over their last ten as they try to cast their names back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
It’s impossible to look into one’s crystal ball and predict a win for the Lakers on any night given their recent struggles, but a home date with Orlando (with a full day off to rest) would appear to be just the type of potion to at least give the purple and gold the possibility to start a win streak.
Time: 6: 30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet