Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are on a hot streak and they will be looking to extend their streak as they host the Orlando Magic in an interconference matchup tonight at Staples Center. The Lakers are first in the Western Conference with a 33-7 record. They have won nine straight and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. At home, they have a 16-4 record.
The Orlando Magic currently sit at seventh place in the East with a 19-21 record. They won their most recent game, are 6-4 in their last 10 and have had a rough go on the road at 6-13.
This will be the final game of the regular season series between the Lakers and Magic. They last played on December 11, with the Lakers winning in Orlando 96-87. LeBron James led the Lakers with 25 points and 10 assists, while Jonathan Isaac led the Magic with 19 points. The Lakers could be looking to extend their streak without Anthony Davis tonight. He is currently listed as day-to-day, but his status could change closer to game time.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: FSFL, SPECSN
Magic: Michael Carter-Williams (Q), DJ Augustin (D), Jonathan Isaac, Al-Farouq Aminu (O)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (GTD), Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins (O)
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
After losing to the Phoenix Suns 98-94 on Friday night, the Orlando Magic got an extended break and got closer to .500 with a 114-112 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Despite the Kings having two scorers finishing with over 30 points apiece, the Magic were able to outscore the Kings in three of four quarters to secure the win.
“It wasn’t obviously a perfect game,” Nikola Vucevic said to the Orlando Sentinel. “There were a lot of things we could’ve done better but at the end of the day a win is a win and you’ll take it.”
Vucevic led the Magic with 26 points and 15 rebounds, but several other starters also got involved. Aaron Gordon had 19 points and nine rebounds, Evan Fournier had 25 points and Markelle Fults had 16 points. The Kings will need an even better performance against the Lakers if they want to start their own streak.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Los Angeles Lakers put an exclamation point on their nine-game streak with a 128-99 shellacking of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. While the Cavs lead early, the Lakers poured it in on in the second half, outscoring the Cavs 81-51.
The Lakers had been riding high after a big win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“They took full advantage of the opportunity, went into a building that is very hard to play, a team that is playing some exceptional basketball, especially at home in OKC, and they went out and pretty much controlled the whole game,” LeBron James said. “It’s great to know that those guys stay ready. That’s just our team. No matter what, they stay ready and they’re always ready when their name is called, their number is called.”
Speaking of staying ready, Kyle Kuzma has been one player that has stayed ready and played well as he has started in place of Davis lately. White he had 11 points in just 26 minutes on Monday, he had 36 against Oklahoma City, 26 against Dallas and 16 points against the New York Knicks.
Dwight Howard also had another big game off the bench, with 21 points and 15 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.
Key Player Matchups
Aaron Gordon vs. LeBron James
Gordon versus James is an intriguing matchup. The Magic loved having Jonathan Isaac for defending LeBron, but with his injury, Gordon steps up. Gordon definitely has the speed to stay in front of James, but does he have the strength to stop James when he looks like a locomotive coming at you at full speed. That’s a big difference-maker.
Anthony Davis vs. Khem Birch
If Davis plays, he’ll practically be unstoppable. Davis has been an ace on the defensive end of the court, disrupting the oppositions flow with deflections, challenges at the rim and switching onto guards on the perimeter and holding his own. Birch doesn’t really have much of a chance here so the Magic will be hoping he has to defend Dwight Howard or Jared Dudley instead.
Since Davis’ status is still up in the air, I’ll go with LeBron James and Nikola Vucevic as fantasy standouts tonight. James is available for $10.4k on FanDuel and has a projection of 56.2 points. Vucevic has a slightly higher points per $1k ratio with a value of $8.5k for 47 fantasy points.
Aaron Gordon is a value play with a salary of $5.8k and a projection of 31 points. It’s worth rolling the dice on Kuzma. He is available for $5.8k and is projected to finish with 24.8 points.
Bet on Matchup
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