Lakers snap 4-game skid with win over Magic
LOS ANGELES — Jordan Hill had a career-high 28 points along with 13 rebounds in his first start in over nine weeks and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Orlando 103-94 on Sunday night, sending the Magic to their ninth straight loss.
Nick Young scored 26 points off the bench, helping the Lakers end a four-game skid. Pau Gasol had six points in 18 minutes, and sat out the second half after feeling nauseous and dizzy.
Steve Nash, who had 11 assists in 19 minutes off the bench Friday night against Washington after missing the previous 15 games because of chronic nerve damage in his back, did not play. The 40-year-old two-time MVP has been limited to just 11 games all season because of his condition.
Xavier Henry, who was back in the lineup for just nine games after missing 28 because of a bone bruise on his right knee, was sidelined again after tearing a ligament in his left wrist in the loss to the Wizards. He will be re-examined Monday.
The Lakers (23-46) have to go no worse than 8-5 the rest of the way to avoid tying the 1974-75 squad for the worst record since the franchise relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960-61. But eight games on their remaining schedule are against teams that currently are over .500.
Orlando point guard Victor Oladipo, the second overall pick in the draft, had 21 points and 10 assists in his eighth career start while Jameer Nelson missed his third straight game with a sore left knee. Aaron Afflalo scored 18 points for the Magic, one night after they lost 89-88 at Utah on a 3-pointer by Trey Burke with 1.6 seconds remaining.
Kyle O’Quinn had 14 points and seven rebounds, and is averaging 8.9 points and 7.0 boards during the last eight games and has blocked 15 shots since replacing Tobias Harris at the starting power forward spot.
Harris had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for the Magic in a 114-105 victory against the Lakers on Jan. 24 at Orlando, but the Magic are 7-20 since. They have lost 23 of their last 24 road games — the only exception a 101-90 win against Philadelphia on Feb. 26.
The Lakers led throughout the second half, but never led by double digits. Orlando got as close as 83-80 on a 15-footer by Afflalo, but the Lakers converted 13 of 14 free throws over the final 5:18 to put it away. Young’s 3-pointer was their only field goal during the final 8 minutes.
Hill, making his first start since Jan. 17, paced Los Angeles to a 55-48 halftime lead with 14 points and six rebounds. The Lakers converted seven Orlando turnovers into nine points during the first 5:03 and took a 25-17 lead on a four-point play by Young, his franchise-record fifth of the season and eighth by the team — also a franchise best.
The Magic played nine full minutes without a turnover following their seventh miscue. Harris gave them their only lead, 30-29, with 10:26 left in the second quarter on a putback layup following a missed 3-point shot by E’Twaun Moore. But the Lakers responded with a 17-2 run, capped by a jumper from Kendall Marshall that gave them a 46-32 margin with 6:09 left in the half.
NOTES: Orlando faced Los Angeles in the NBA finals just five years ago, losing in five games. But the Magic are 39-113 since the start of last season after firing Stan Van Gundy and trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard to the Lakers — and are one of only four teams that have a worse record than the Lakers this season. … A loss Tuesday night at home against Portland would give Orlando two double-digit losing streaks in the same season for the third time in the franchise’s 25-year history. It also happened last season and in 2003-04. The Magic have seven of those streaks altogether. … The Lakers failed to sell out for the sixth time. … The Magic fell to 0-30 on the road when trailing after three quarters. … This was the Magic’s final road game against Western Conference opponents. They were 0-15. … Oladipo is one of only two rookies in Magic history, along with Penny Hardaway in 1993-94, to record at least 900 points, 200 assists and 100 steals. … The Magic, who came in 0-33 when they get outrebounded, won the battle of the boards 46-34. … The Lakers have won only one game this season by a margin of more than 15 points. That was on Nov. 12, when they beat New Orleans 116-95 at Staples Center.