NBA regular season

Lakers hold off new-look Magic

Lakers hold off new-look Magic

STEP UP. Kyle Kuzma rises to the occasion for the Lakers in their escape over the Magic.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Lakers improve to 2-3 without LeBron James, who has missed 5 straight games due to a high ankle sprain

Dennis Schroder scored 24 points and the Los Angeles Lakers held on for a 96-93 win against the visiting Orlando Magic on Sunday, March 28 (Monday, March 29, Manila time).

Kyle Kuzma had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Montrezl Harrell finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and Markieff Morris totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

LeBron James missed his fifth straight game with a high ankle sprain and the Lakers improved to 2-3 without their leader in scoring (25.4), rebounding (7.9), and assists (7.9).

Dwayne Bacon scored a career-high 26 points, Chuma Okeke scored 14 points, and Mo Bamba had 11 points off the bench for the Magic.

RJ Hampton, Wendell Carter Jr, and Otto Porter Jr made their team debuts off the bench for the Magic after they were acquired in trades on Thursday.

Hampton scored 10 points, Carter finished with 8, and Porter had 5.

The Magic took their biggest lead of the game at 82-77 on a three-pointer by Hampton with 7:19 left in the game.

Shortly afterward, the Lakers answered back with a 12-1 run to move ahead 92-85 with 3:28 left.

Carter scored on a dunk to cut the deficit to 96-93 with 30.9 seconds remaining, but Porter missed a three-point try at the buzzer.

Porter entered the game and made his first shot, a 22-footer with 1:51 left in the 1st quarter to match Orlando’s biggest lead of the first half at 21-18.

The Lakers moved back ahead by the end of the opening quarter and led by 13 on Kuzma’s layup with 2:58 left in the first half, but the Magic closed with a 13-5 run to trail 44-39 at the break.

The Magic rallied back to tie the score 5 times in the 3rd quarter before briefly retaking the lead 66-65 on a three-point play by Hampton with 45.5 seconds left in the period.

Porter sank a three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left to tie the score again at 69-69 entering the 4th. –