Lakers Will Bounce Back from First Post-Break Loss & Handle Magic

lakers magic

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6:39 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018 6:39 PM GMT

The Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers are both well under .500 but have been great ATS bets in recent weeks. Which way to lean Wednesday night in L.A.?

Orlando (20-44, 30-33-1 ATS) at LA Lakers (28-35, 35-28 ATS)Free NBA Pick: LakersBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Here we are in early March and the Orlando Magic’s season already is over (again). How engaged do you think the players will be in the midst of a tough five-game road trip through the Western Conference? It’s Game 2 of the swing Wednesday as the Magic visit the Los Angeles Lakers for a 10:30 p.m. ET start.

The NBA schedule-makers did the Magic no favors here. That’s because they to go Sacramento on Friday but then return to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday. Why not just flip-flop the Kings/Clippers game so the Orlando players could simply stay in L.A. for a few days?

The Magic won’t win many season series this year but can Wednesday because Jan. 31 they stomped the visiting Lakers 127-105. That was the third game of a five-game trip for L.A. Orlando blew open a close game by outscoring the Lakers 43-30 in the third quarter. The Magic hit a franchise-record nine 3-pointers in the quarter and hit 18-for-32 from long range overall, the most made 3-pointers at home in franchise history. Marreese Speights led seven Magic players in double figures with a season-high 21 points. Elfrid Payton added 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, but he’s now in Phoenix. Aaron Gordon was out injured. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 20 points each. Lonzo Ball was out with his knee problem back then.

Orlando has won nine of the past 10 at home in the series but dropped six of the past nine at the Lakers. L.A. has covered the past four at home in the series.

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Lakers Suffer First Post-Break Loss

The Magic started a 10-day trip looking rather disinterested in a 94-80 loss in Utah on Monday, scoring a season low in points and shooting percentage (34.1) against one of the NBA’s top defensive teams. Nikola Vucevic, who will be having a homecoming of sorts Wednesday as he played collegiately at USC, led Orlando with just 15 points. The Magic entered having scored at least 100 points in each of the past 12 games, the franchise’s longest such streak since February 1995 when Shaquille O’Neal was still with the franchise.

The Lakers didn’t have rising star Brandon Ingram due to a groin strain on Saturday night but didn’t miss him in San Antonio against a depleted Spurs team in a 116-112 victory. That improved L.A. to 5-0 SU & ATS since the All-Star break with the team averaging 121.4 points.

However, Ingram, who is expected to miss this entire week (maybe he’s back Sunday), was clearly missed Monday as the Lakers blew a late 11-point lead and lost at home to Portland, 108-103, as Damian Lillard went nuts in the fourth. It was the Blazers’ 15th straight win in the series and the first Lakers home loss in their past 10 at Staples Center. L.A.’s field goal percentage of 39.5 was its worst since Dec. 27.

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🎥 Lakers battle down to the final possession but fall to the Trail Blazers, 103-108.

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 6, 2018

Isaiah Thomas had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds but was stripped. IT was just 5-for-21 from the field as well. Rookie Kyle Kuzma started for Ingram but was held to 11 points. Ingram had been probably L.A.’s best player in February, averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. He had been starting at point guard with Ball injured. Ball has been back for the past four games and has found his shot, hitting 53.3 percent from the field and 60.8 from long range.

Orlando has been a very good bet of late, covering 16 of its past 23, but it feels like the players already are going through the motions on this trip. L.A. has covered eight straight at home vs. teams with a losing record. Make it nine in a row for a Wednesday NBA pick.

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