The Orlando Magic blitzed the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter on Sunday, outscoring them by a 40-26 margin to take a 113-103 victory. The Magic got a season-high 30 points from Arron Afflalo, as well as double-doubles from Glen Davis (23 points, 12 rebounds), Nikola Vučević (17 points, 12 boards), and Jameer Nelson (19 points, 13 assists).
Three-point shooting saved the game for Orlando, a rare occurrence under new coach Jacque Vaughn, under whom the team has taken far fewer three-pointers than it did under Stan Van Gundy. The Magic were a respectable 8-of-23 overall for 34.8 percent, but shot 4-of-7 from deep in the fourth quarter to seal victory. Nelson hit two of those triples just 50 seconds apart to turn a six-point lead into an 11-point advantage; Dwight Howard split a pair of free throws between them.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's 2012/13 average;|
red denotes a stat worse than the team's 2012/13 average.
Both teams got to the foul line at solid rates, though L.A. did so because the Magic wanted it to, intentionally fouling Howard late in the game for strategic reasons and hacking him whenever he caught the ball in deep post position. Neither team fared well on the offensive boards, and both teams took great care of the ball.
The difference, then, was shooting: Orlando shot 55.5 percent on two-point baskets compared to 43.5 percent for the Lakers. And though the Lakers boast, in Howard and Pau Gasol, two All-Star big men, Orlando dominated the painted area. The Lakers narrowly outscored the Magic there, 42-40, but the Magic shot 20-of-35 (57.1 percent) in the lane. Los Angeles went 21-of-52 (40.4 percent), ending whatever chance it had of prevailing.
Overall, the Lakers simply did not score efficiently enough to surmount the challenges an on-fire Magic team presented. Kobe Bryant exemplifies the host team's struggles: though he mustered a game-high 34 points, he needed 27 shot attempts and 11 free-throw attempts to get there.