Tobias Harris’ Career Night Leads Magic to Big Win Over Lakers
The 2013 Lakers visit to Orlando had slightly more drama from a Dwight-Howard-Coming-Back-To-Orlando perspective, but the 2014 visit turned out to be more fun for Magic fans. The Orlando Magic rolled their way to a 114-105 victory over the injury-ravaged L.A. Lakers
and enjoyed sweet revenge for that 2009 Finals defeat.
A 14-0 run by the Magic to end the 3rd quarter, kicked off by a beautiful fast-break between the legs pass by Victor Oladipo to Tobias Harris . The Magic scored 38 3rd quarter points in all, the most in a quarter all season, to put themselves in a position for the rare win.
Tobias Harris was the man of the night for the Magic putting up one of the best nights of his young career with 28 points and a career high 20 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 23 points and Victor Oladipo had his fourth career double-double scoring 15 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, dishing 5 assists and added 2 steals for good measure.
The Lakers were playing without half of their opening night roster – starting guys like Kendall Marshall, Wesley Johnon and Ryan Kelly, who are all clinging to their respective NBA lives. A discouraged Pau Gasol and erratic Nick Young could only carry them so far. Gasol led the Lakers with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Marshall himself had 19 points and 13 assists. All Kobe Bryant could do is shake his head in disgust from the bench.
The heart-and-hustle youngsters propelled the Magic on the night, running and gunning at every opportunity. The Magic were playing a depleted Lakers-squad, but that hasn’t stopped them from losing games like this consistently over the last year and a half. It’s an extremely encouraging sign to see improvement from the like of Tobias Harris, who is finally starting to play at the level he was producing at towards the end of last season.
“He puts in the work and I’ve said before I give him a lot of credit. Going into every game, I never have a second thought if he is going to be ready to play, organized and ready to go”, Jacque Vaughn giving Tobias Harris praise post game, “We tried to establish Tobias early and he was great.”
Kyle O’Quinn and Doron Lamb both played big minutes off the bench and were important pieces for Orlando again. Coach Vaughn vowed to give them a chance to make an impact after playing well on Wednesday night against the Hawks. Both provided critical energy and O’Quinn is making a strong push to steal more and more minutes from Glen Davis. Tonight, wisely, O’Quinn played 26 minutes to Davis’ 24.
“Overall, the energy, just the feeling of the second unit has been really very good” – Vaughn
mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Fan Tweet of the Night
— Applebeethan (@EthanGoodwin) January 25, 2014
Smush Parker is rolling over in his grave at the roster put forth by this Lakers time tonight, but a win is a win. For the now 12-32 Magic, you have to enjoy them when they come. The youngsters showed promise and that really is what this season is about. Those glympses of hope keep us all coming back for more. Like the beaten down puppies we are.
Orlando is back on the road for their next three games, starting this Sunday night in New Orleans. The tip is set for 6:00 PM EST.