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Magic at Lakers GameThread

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Orlando's West Coast road trip continues Wednesday night against Lonzo Ball and Co.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Magic will get their first look Wednesday night at Lonzo Ball, the 2nd overall pick in last year's NBA Draft. The Magic and Lakers met at the end of January in Orlando, but Ball did not play in the contest.

The Magic were able to score a 127-105 victory over the Lakers five weeks ago, which was their second largest margin of victory this season (behind only their 27-point victory over the Spurs in late October).

However, the Lakers have won 9 of their 13 games since getting blown out at Amway, and have undergone significant personnel changes as well.

A week after their visit to Orlando, the Lakers traded reserves Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers for former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, former Magic center Channing Frye, and Cleveland's 2018 1st round pick.

Of course, the Magic will look very different to the Lakers than they did in late January as well. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic were out of the lineup for the Magic in the contest five weeks ago, as was rookie Jonathan Isaac.

Isaac, who has missed 46 of the team's 64 games this season due to a lingering ankle issue, returned to Orlando's rotation last Friday against the Pistons. He has yet to play over 20 minutes in any of the three games he's participated in since returning, but his impact on the defensive end has been felt. In fact, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reported that Coach Frank Vogel floated the idea earlier today of starting Isaac tonight against the Lakers.


For now, it appears that Vogel will continue to use Isaac off the bench, but his role could continue to expand as the season progresses. Vogel started Isaac in the second half against the Jazz Monday night.

While Isaac has been a difference-maker on the defensive end, he has failed to score in the team's last two games. Isaac has gone 1-9 from the field (3 points) in 51 minutes since returning from injury.

Orlando dropped their game Monday against the Jazz 94-80, but the defense was greatly improved in the second half (held the Jazz to 40 second half points).

The Lakers dropped their last contest to the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night (108-103), but won five in a row prior to that game. Los Angeles scored wins last week at Miami and San Antonio.

Ball has connected on 14 of his last 23 three-point attempts in the team's last four games (60%).

The Lakers, who currently enter the game 11th in the Western Conference standings, have won six of their last ten games.

Brandon Ingram will miss Wednesday's game due to a strained groin.

Leave your pre-game and in-game comments here. Follow us at @OPPMagicBlog. Enjoy!

Orlando Magic (20-44, lost 1 in a row) @ Los Angeles Lakers (28-35, lost 1 in a row)

March 7th, 2018

Staples Center

10:30 PM EST

TV: Fox Sports Florida

D.J. Augustin

PG

Lonzo Ball

Jonathon Simmons

SG

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Evan Fournier

SF

Kyle Kuzma

Aaron Gordon

PF

Julius Randle

Nikola Vucevic

C

Brook Lopez

ORLANDO

LOS ANGELES

98.3 (8th of 30)

PACE

100.9 (1st of 30)

106.9 (19th of 30)

O-RTG

106.1 (24th of 30)

111.3 (27th of 30)

D-RTG

107.8 (11th of 30)