Almost exactly a week after getting blown out by the Orlando Magic, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Magic again in similar fashion on Sunday at Staples Center.
Much like the game last week, the Lakers came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, but their energy and effort plummeted after the first quarter, resulting in a 108-104 loss, their eighth defeat of the season.
Kyle Kuzma and his headband got the Lakers off to a hot start, scoring 13 points and dishing out 4 assists in the first quarter. He ended the game with 21 points on 7-15 shooting from the field.
Kuzma has struggled to make any meaningful impact in his last few games, so it was nice to see his shots falling. As a result, he was one of only two starters with a positive box plus-minus on Sunday. Brandon Ingram, who contributed 17 points, was the other one.
Unfortunately, McGee and his headband narrowly missed the cut. In 24 minutes, McGee swatted 7 shots, four short of his career-high. Four of his blocks came in the first six minutes of the game. He also added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
While it was nice to see McGee show his shot-blocking prowess, the amount of shots he had to block at the rim was a product of the Lakers’ sloppy overall defense. In the last three quarters, the Lakers allowed 100 points.
Free throws were also a huge issue for the Lakers as they made just 20 of their 31 attempts. The Magic made 92.9 percent of their free throws.
The Lakers will travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. The Lakers beat the 121-114 earlier this season.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.