Coming off an impressive 111-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at home, Orlando was looking to make it four wins in its last five games when they welcomed the Los Angeles Lakers into town Saturday night at the Amway Center. Though LeBron James was the player that many came to see, it would be Magic center Nikola Vucevic who put up a show.

Vucevic ended the evening scoring a game-high 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Orlando reached the .500 mark for the first time this season and defeated Los Angeles 130-117. James ended the evening with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting for the Lakers. Orlando takes the floor again tomorrow night when they host the New York Knicks and will have a chance to be above .500 for the first time this season.

The Lakers started off the game hot and out-scored the Magic 31-25 in the opening quarter. It would end up being the second quarter in which Orlando started taking advantage of Los Angeles’ poor transition defense, as the Magic scored 37 points in the period.

Armed with a 62-53 lead coming out of halftime, Orlando (8-8) made sure to keep the foot on the gas pedal and had LeBron and crew tons of fits on both ends of the court. Magic point guard DJ Augustin has himself a solid night and scored 22 points and fished out seven assists.

Augustin out-played his counterpart, Lonzo Ball, who ended the evening with zero points, five rebounds and four assists. Steve Clifford got plenty of help from his bench, as Terrance Ross and Jonathan Simmons scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Much of the offense ran through Nikola Vucevic and his big night was able to out do Los Angeles’ centers JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, whom combined to score 13 points.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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