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Lakers appear fatigued in 89-75 loss to the Orlando Magic

Lakers2_510 The Lakers walked off the court of Amway Arena with the same lifeless energy as they displayed in their 89-75 loss Sunday to the Orlando Magic.

They shared the same enthusiasm when they grudgingly closed out on the perimeter, the delayed reactions spurring the Magic to shoot seven of 23 from three-point range. They shared the same passion when Pau Gasol didn't box out Magic center Dwight Howard, whose 31 points on 13-of-16 shooting and 13 rebounds nearly outscored the Lakers' team leaders in Kobe Bryant (17 points on eight-of-18 shooting) and Gasol (17 points on five-of-12 shooting). And they showed the same flatness when shooting 39.3% from the field on a 33-of-84 clip and 46.7% from the free-throw line on a seven-of-15 mark.

Were the Lakers tired? Perhaps, considering this game marked the fifth of a seven-game trip that's included stops in New Orleans, Memphis, Boston and New York. Were the Lakers complacent? Maybe, since the they entered the game with a 4-0 mark on the Grammy trip and felt much more confident than perhaps a week ago where their track record lacked consistency and marquee victories. Or are all these just excuses?

Not quite. Chalking up the Lakers' loss to fatigue may appear as lazy as the officials who missed Gilbert Arenas stepping out of bounds before Howard dunked his airball at the end of the third quarter. Blaming the Lakers' loss on boredom may sound as predictable as knowing the Lakers' success falters when Bryant's shooting aim is off the mark, its inside presence fails and their perimeter shooting continues to be non-existent. Summing up the Lakers' defeat to a lack of aggressiveness may prove as inaccurate as the supposed trade talks between the Lakers and Nuggets involving Andrew Bynum and Carmelo Anthony.

The Lakers lost because they simply didn't execute, a point Lakers Coach Phil Jackson reiterated when the Lakers entered the fourth quarter trailing 67-60. "We lost all three quarters," Jackson said on an ESPN "Wired" segment. "These first three minutes are a critical three minutes for us." But all those bouts of inconsistency pointed to the Lakers' fatigue, boredom and lack of aggressiveness. The Lakers then proved, like they did for most of the game, that the problem pointed to flashes of brilliance and plenty of lapses than just having a bad game period. A Lamar Odom missed 10-footer, a Shannon Brown offensive foul and Bynum missed 14-footer was followed by Steve Blake and Bynum connecting inside, Odom forcing a turnover and drawing two fouls that led to making three of four free throws before three more consecutive missed shots.

Yet, the Lakers' loss means very little in their big-picture development. Surely, it doesn't help with the Lakers (38-17) trailing the Dallas Mavericks (38-16) by half a game and it widens to 7 1/2 games their deficit to San Antonio (45-9) for the top spot in the Western Conference. But the Lakers can quickly brush past this since they play Monday at Charlotte and the Magic's dependency on outside shooting won't push them too far in the playoffs. And the performance simply served as a reminder that the Lakers should respond with any progression or regression in season's play with a level-headed attitude.

It was hard to ignore, however, how the Lakers' inconsistency to open the fourth quarter provided a microcosm to everything else that happened in the game. After the Lakers thought they neutralized Howard because of three first-half fouls, he stormed out in the second half and exploited the Lakers' spacey interior defense, the only contention coming when Odom's elbow caused a gash under his right eye with 1:54 remaining. After the Lakers thought Bynum continued to prove why his presence matters for the team's success with nine points, five offensive rebounds, one assist and one steal in the first quarter, he scored eight the rest of the way because of deteriorating lift and timing and possibly because of an injured knee, going over to the sideline at one point for Lakers trainer Gary Vitti to look at him. And after Bryant created the perfect balance between scoring (six-of-12 shooting) and facilitating in the first half, a more deliberate Orlando defense limited him to two field goals in the second half.

The Lakers displayed this maddening inconsistency perfectly in what ESPN analyst Hubie Brown compared to play in the Las Vegas Summer League. In a span of two minutes, Odom lost the ball to Hedo Turkoglu, he stepped out of bounds, Brown and Odom made consecutive jumpers, Orlando made consecutive turnovers and Blake and Brown combined for three consecutive missed three-point shots. Over a span of 48 minutes, the Lakers continued this pattern. And in a span of 24 hours, the Lakers will have completely forgotten about this game and have moved on to their next stop at Charlotte. 

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Magic center Dwight Howard and Lakers power forward Pau Gasol battle for a rebound in the first half Sunday. Credit: Preston Mack / EPA

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The play where Dwight got the offensive rebound dunk against Pau came AFTER Pau boxed Dwight out. Dwight grabbed Pau's shoulders and threw him out of the way. Right in front of the officials. I'm not going to whine about the refs...they were bad for both teams. But it really burns me when I hear "That referee so and so allows a lot of contact, or that the refs are 'letting 'em play'".

Two points on a play where Arenas was clearly out of bounds. A technicality in the rules prevented that from being reviewed. Kobe, clearly being fouled at the end of the half while shooting. Three more potential points gifted by the refs not doing their work.

Danny Crawford and Rodney Mott are 2 notorious "let them play" refs. They worked the game today. If they are not going to call obvious fouls, because of some preconcieved notions and intentions of not interrupting the "flow of the game", then they should buy tickets. Because they are not doing their jobs properly.

The Celtic/Heat game was just as bad. Down the stretch, the refs in that one swallowed their whistles. Bad stuff. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.

Refs are more forgiving in games with elite teams. They let them truly battle it out - reminiscent of the golden area.

Sonny fastball's prodigy DeMarcus Cousins is having issues...

Maybe DC will be anointed for "Saint"hood?

Totally agree. The refereeing was really bad in this game, and unlike in some cases, the calls did not even out. There are some games where you can tell the officials have a bias for a certain team, and this time Orlando benefited. I kept waiting for Kobe to take over this game, but he didn't seem to have the energy today.

Calls almost always favor the aggressive team - and they should within reason. Lakers were totally passive, uninspired and deserved to lose.

Does anyone know the Lakers record on Sundays and holidays? Maybe the Lakers need a curfew on Saturday nights.


Calls almost always favor the aggressive team - and they should within reason. Lakers were totally passive, uninspired and deserved to lose.

Does anyone know the Lakers record on Sundays and holidays? Maybe the Lakers need a curfew on Saturday nights.


The Lakers won't ever have to worry about Dwight Howard or the Magic because Boston or Miami will beat them in the playoffs...Bye Orlando! We won't be back till next season!

Laker fans, i think we should try our BEST to move Blake and Walton now, Brown we can work with him to get better but these two are plain mean how many 3's did we make today?

I didnt add Ron coz no team is nuts enough to take him on...

We NEEEEED shooters....Mitch

Wow. I must have been watching another game. The game I watched saw Andrew Bynum basically hold his own against Dwight Howard and play him pretty evenly while they were matched up. The game I saw showed Andrew Bynum working hard to get great post position only to have Fisher or Odom throw up a prayer shot rather than feeding him the ball when he had his man sealed. Even the announcers commented on that. The game I saw showed Dwight Howard getting his shot stuffed right back in his face and then getting stripped clean on another attempt both by Andrew Bynum. The game I saw showed a young Andrew Bynum proving that he can play Dwight Howard 1-on-1.

The game I saw also showed that it was against Pau Gasol that Dwight Howard dominated and outplayed. The game I saw was Pau Gasol’s poorest game since his revival after the Boston game. The game I saw showed exactly why Pau Gasol is the second best center on the team. The game I saw also showed why sticking to set rotations when a player is not producing is not always the smart move. While Drew was obviously tiring in the second half, everyone knew the game was over the minute Pau came in to defend Dwight. I hope Pau rebounds but he was soft and weak in the game I saw.


Bynum historically does well against Howard, I was not able to see the game, but off what I read the offense was failing yet again...

The Lakers played very uninspired basketball today,and didnt deserve to win.As a diehard Laker fan I was very dissapointed.Dwight Howard dominated down low.If Howard dominated like that against a Laker team with Bynum-what would he do if we didnt have Bynum.I'd like 2 see MELLO in purple-n-gold-but we-d be hard pressed to go deep into the playoffs this year without Andrew.Hopefully MELLO will stay in Denver this year-n-we can sign him in the offseason.Check out my website for sports lovers at 20 videos-sportsfeed-sportsblog- #LAKERS 4 LIFE----- NUFF SAID

Bynum did a good job on DH for most of the 1st half. Why Gasol was on him on the 2nd half?

When Blake will start to hit some 3pt shots?

When Fish and Ron will start to contribute just a little on the offense? Justa little bit...

When Barnes is coming back?

When Shannon will be consistent?

What Caracter was doing there? Why not give some/more minutes to Ebanks, who is clearly more prepared to contribute than Caracter?

Many questions...


On the bright side, I'm glad the Celts beat the Cheat. I, unlike most of the Lakers fanhood, like the Celts. Hey, stop it! It's just that I learned to respect the Chowders back on Larry Bird's days. I missed the 70's, of course, but we came along in the 80's, and Magic and Larry were the best players of all times.

Besides, LeGone and his entourage (the refs) are making me sick. Today, there was plenty of weird calls. Oh, guess what? LeDick, Wade & Bosh have as many free-throws as the entire Celts team, over the season! That's what I call love from the refs...

That's what I thought as well. I'd like Melo, but not at the expense of Bynum. I think Melo isn't going anywhere and then the Lakers can work on getting him in the summer as a free agent. Of course, this all depends on whether or not the Lakers win it all this year. Jerry Buss will likely be more willing to open the checkbook more if we come out as winners. If we lose it tho'...shudder.

Stop crying you bunch of sissy babies , the Lakers got thier butts handed to them tonight. I dont want to hear all this garbage about the officials and how tired the Lakers were. They were off yesterday. If they were so tired they should have stayed in their hotel and slept. And as far as the officials and calls are concerned D12 does not get the same preferential treatment as Kobe , Lebron, Wade , or Durant. He gets hammered and beat up every night . As a matter of fact Mr. Kardashian caused him to get stitches tonight and nothing was called. If you wanna complain about the Arenas no call you can have that and you still lose by 12 pts. You dbags on here sound like that idiot Jon Barry and that bald head clown Michael Wilbon. Boo hoo the Lakers were tired . Cry me a river . GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Magic


Good point i would say that the lakers defense was pretty solid, or you could even blame it on poor shooting.But the magic only score 89pts,thats pretty solid against a team thats a high scoring as the magic.That shows that the lakers are starting to be very consistent on defense which is what you would want from our boys.But offensively they tend to go away to much sometime from pounding the ball in the post and start jacking up shoots from all over the court which is not smart ball movement.Still i'm encourage that they can continue to turn things around and be ready come playoff time.
Go Lakers!

This is another game that you can expect from any team in NBA when they are on the road, especially at this stage wherein fatigue and lack of sleep sets in. One way or another you just come to a game just flat, out of sync, it happens. As long as they are healthy in the playoffs we are in good position to defend the title. Lakers 3 peat and beyond....

4 REBOUNDS!!!! PAU is a SOFTIE. This is exactly my point why I think we don't have a chance of winning this years championship with Pau as our POWER-forward. Unless Bynum has some kind of ASTONISHING playoff run.

Pau (and Artest) for:

Aldridge (Mathews)
Noah (Deng)
Love and Johnson (Ellington)
Lopez and Harris (Favors)
Horford and Smith (Bibby)

After every one of these "throwaway" games the Lackers say all the right things. Then a week later after everyone talks about them turning the corner, up comes another no effort, no energy game. Apparently the team keeps turning every corner in the same direction, ending up right back where they started. Hope the partying was worth it, guys.


I pretty much agree with your assessment on D. Howard's effectiveness on Pau vs Bynum. However, let us not forget that many have said that it is our frontcourt that offers the challenge against any other team. The combination of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom are unmatched in the league, it has been stated. Yet, D. Howard , Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and second year player, Earl Clark outplayed our frontcourt. So much for our dominance in that department tonight.
The Lakers were outrebounded 46 to 34. The Magic committed 16 turnovers to our 8 and they still managed to win relatively easy. I know that the argument will be that in a seven game series we win. I believe that. I just did not expect "the smaller" Magic to beat us up front the way they did.
If the Magic can sustain this level of play against the Eastern Conference teams during the playoffs, they will be serious contenders to win the east.
Then again, this was just another game during this, so called, practice season.
Go Lakers!

Cecil, I won't say trade Pau Gasol based on one game vs the Magic what I will say is Dwight's skill is catching up.. and he had a great game today.

Bynum is starting to look good. When running the floor Bynum didn't look like he was running in sand. LakerTom got it right. But Bynum can look good for 28 -30 min per game and Dwight didn't fatigue.

What is so wrong about playing some other bruiser at center (we have 2 getting a paycheck for sitting) for 3 minutes per half and let Pau play mostly at the 4 when Bynum sits? Odom can play at the 3 for 3 min per half, then switch back to the 4. Against bruisers, Pau isn't strong or heavy enough. Paul barely holds his own against someone his own weight (Garnett).

I don't like seeing Pau at the 5, Kobe at the 3, and Odom at the 4. When playing center, Pau gets pushed around and team rebounding SUFFERS. Also when playing the 3 Kobe doesn't seem to pass enough, (doesn't he trust Brown and Blake?)

For all the supposed beauty and success of the triangle ofense. I guess I am too old school. Even though I know who Red Holzman is , I prefer to watch a guy like Rondo create plays for the bigs, drive and dish, repeat.

Laker fan since '81

Definitely not because of 1 game. But this has been a constant all year long. Gasol's soft play in the paint and lack of effort. I trade him because of his consistency this year.

Magic Phil - I agree let Ebanks play a litle bit, he will get some hustle points, and surprise us on defense. I'ld rather see Ebanks guarding a fast point guard than Kobe or Fish. He doesn't need to shoot, just defend and slow down the opposing team's fast break.

How come no one has suggested bringing Antwan Jamison to LA?

@POINTFORWARD… Drew played well against Howard. His footwork and low post offense had Dwight back on his heels and he blocked one of Howard’s shots as well as stripped him clean on another. Having said that, Dwight nevertheless had one of his best games. Drew tired in the second half and Pau basically was schooled all night long. Hopefully, Pau will bounce back tomorrow night.
@MAGICPHIL… I think Phil played Pau more on Dwight because Drew had already played a lot of minutes and had tweaked his knee. Phil also likes to close out the fourth with the veteran Pau and Lamar. Tonight, I would have liked to have seen Drew close the game against Howard. He scored 7 points on Pau in the fourth quarter, including several dominating moves where Pau played soft.
@OCLEZY… The defense on this road trip has been consistently good with nobody breaking a 100, even the high scoring Knicks and Magic. Dwight got it rolling once Drew left the game and Pau could not handle him. This is another case of Pau getting punked by guys that he outplayed last year. It was Pau who really stopped Dwight two years ago when the Lakes won their first title post Shaq. It goes to show that any NBA team is dangerous when they’ve got a big crowd and a chance to beat LA.
@LAKERJ…When Kobe, Drew, Pau, and Lamar all play good, the Lakers can overcome the lack of production from the 1 and 3 spots. But when one of the Big Four doesn’t play up to snuff, the window is open for the hyped up opponents to have their best game of the year. I’m not really afraid of the Magic and seriously doubt that they can even get back the Eastern Conference Finals.

Why do the Laker fans love to steal other teams players?

I'm a bit concern about the Lakers. D Fish got the national media to accept that it was ok if the Lakers lose and not fight for the best record. This is a travesty. The last time the lakers didn't have the best record in the finals we were abused by bostong in game 6 131-92. I see fundamental flaws in the Lakers. People are saying we will flip the switch come playoffs. But look at the players who are now performing. Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and LO. These are your veteran guys who except for Bynum have played in more games than any other player in the nba since 2008. So we will be depending on ron, fisher, blake, barnes, walton and brown to make a difference in the playoffs because they are burn out now? That's absurd.

Lakers problem is lacking a spark plug and high energy guy. Everyone think that they are a star and refuses to get their hands dirty. If you can't shoot try and rebound and dive for loose balls. All I hope is that we dont face Boston in the finals because we will get a beatdown. Boston is too good this year and have the size to boot. Plus they have key laker coolers. Big Baby is LO cooler. Garnett is Gasoft cooler. Shaq is Bynum cooler. Perkins is Gasoft cooler as well. Boston zone defense is Bryant's cooler unless his outside shot is falling. Plus Boston is hungry and out for revenge while lakers is the fat and content two time champs. Pierce abused ron in the first meeting this season.

Lakers problem is lacking a spark plug and high energy guy. Everyone think that they are a star and refuses to get their hands dirty. If you can't shoot try and rebound and dive for loose balls. All I hope is that we dont face Boston in the finals because we will get a beatdown. Boston is too good this year and have the size to boot. Plus they have key laker coolers. Big Baby is LO cooler. Garnett is Gasoft cooler. Shaq is Bynum cooler. Perkins is Gasoft cooler as well. Boston zone defense is Bryant's cooler unless his outside shot is falling. Plus Boston is hungry and out for revenge while lakers is the fat and content two time champs. Pierce abused ron in the first meeting this season.

Doc is Phil's cooler as well. By the way Miami will beat us as well. Ron has had success against Durant, Melo, Pierce etc etc on ocassions. But he has no chance against James. LBJ is 275 pounds of twisted steel and has the quickness of a cat. While Ron is a flat footed bear. But unlike the other small forwards he cannot push LBJ around or stay in the front of him. Dwade will cancel out the aging Kobe. Bosh manhandles Gasoft. The Big Z will take Bynum out on the perimeter to limit his effectiveness. The Lakers as usual will lack the discipline to pound the ball inside and instead fire bricks. The showtime lakers used to milk advantages all game whether it was Worthy, kareem, or magic in the post.

Speaking of James I used to despise LBJ but now I am beginning to admire him. He was always talented but oh so childish and egotisitical and then came the decision. But the universal venom was good for him. Like how steel is forged from fire and diamonds from pressure LBJ is now a man. And a bad and angry man to boot. His game is still a bit raw but when it smooths out, there will be hell to pay. The man has averages of about 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He really is Jordan and Magic merged into one. I prefer LBJ to win the ring over Boston because Kobe will still have 5 rings to Shaq 4.

I prefer games where refs swallow their whistles compared to the over-calling that kills the flow. Lakers flat out lost the game with their poor play, and the Magic made their shots when it counted.

Hey, girls and boys. At the end of a day is just only a game, but stop the arguments against the ref and about the lack of energy, it's only an excuse for the person who write them. The reality, they are professional players who ern millions of dollars, who are in the pic of his carrees, who is not supposed to show this lack of energy or being tired. Yesterday, the Magic were an superior than the LAKERS. Maybe only yesyerday and TG Lakers haven't have to face the Magic in semis, it's will kill us. So, stop crying like girls, Magic Yesterday was more imponent, more powerfull team, more agressive than LAL.

Not beating Orlando is significant; to date our signature win is against a Boston team that only had seven players.

Significant also is that in our signature win our starters got blown out by 15 points in the opening period and a half and only to come back against Von Wafer and Avery Bradley and barely hold onto a clearly under manned team.

We still got a lot of work to do and San Antonio has our HCA wrapped up; call me concerned Joe

Why do the lakers have to come around during the play-off every year. Do they prepare at all for 82 game season. I keep hearing the same old tune each year over an over wait until the play-offs. Pro players should be ready for all the games, not meaning that they will win them all. Our team only play's hard maybe 30 games a year. The shooting from the outside man is really bad. Blake Fisher Artest and Walton these guy's most practice to see how many shoot's they can miss. Maybe they are focus on defensive only right now, and will get the shooting, rebounding, blocking out, and shooting free throw's down when the play-off start. Well anyway for the last three year I truly think that there is some funny business going on with the Lakers. Someone is making plenty money on the lakers to lose certain games just my belief. If not these guy's are not winning this year they are not a discipline team to many flaws. Not only will this be Phil's last stand, but this team will have there last stand or year togather pay-roll to high for shoddy play that they display. There will be many new players on this team next year I mean rebuilding time is at hand.

Bynum got chewed and spit out today by Magic's center Howard. If Bynum wants to be an All-Star in the NBA he should look at Howard as his role model. Bet Laker management and the coaches got a BIG scare when Bynum starting limping ?? Goes to show the Lakers should have made the trade for Melo. Bynum is injury prone and right now is the right time to get him off the books and get someone who can play NBA basketball. Pau is no All-Star either. Very soft and is in a bad slump. Good to see Kobe sit for the end of the game. Fisher is still the Laker's worst player. Why does he think he can get into the hoop area and get rebounds ?? He should be playing defense. His shooting is a joke. This is what Laker managements though so we Laker fans have to bite the bullet. Only a week left for trades Laker management !!

when Bynum & Gasol play like chumps, and allow Dwight Howard to dominate them. we will suffer embarrassing loses like this. The End!!

Shooters is what they need. Luke, blake, fish, artest r not getting it done. When fish can't make a basket is a strait up liability cuz he can't defend anyone. Ron is still on milk carton. Reason lakers can't make a trade cuz no one wants walton or artest. Why ebanks gets no Burn? Artest just seems lost. Dude can't hit jumpers or make layup and dribbles til someone takes ball from him. Too bad bobcats won't trade artest for jackson. Lakers have no one that can spread the floor. Good thing barnes will b back soon cuz lakers get nothing from walton and artest.

It is kinda sad that as soon as the lakers lose, one cant appreciate what this team have done so far as a group. As long as the lakers start to win ballgames, everybody jumps saying that no one on this team should go etc etc. The minute they lose one.... This player should bla bla that player is this and that... Whats wrong with you guys? Would you do any better out there?

I know reagular season games should be considered important but to me, its way more important to play in such a way that they take a chance that is presented to win and not get anyone injured in stead of going dogfifht and not getting someone on that 2008 Paul Pierce wheel chair.

:) meant to say... Getting someone on that 2008 paul pierce wheel chair

@Travis " I dont want to hear all this garbage about the officials and how tired the Lakers were."
Then I'm assuming u don't wanna hear the truth? Crawford is notorious for not making proper calls and they are fatigued, the Lakers have been playing more basketball than any team in the league over the past 2 years...Bottom line, the Lakers can beat the Magic when they're at their best (09' finals)....Lakers had a bad game, sure, but there's reasons behind it...

am glad to have u cose u are the one i belive and suppot dear so i will be happy if i can be among of u cose i no how to play or if u can take me as friend cose i have a clan that is CANNY MONEY RECORDS, who help orphans and needs ...............................................

am glad to have u cose u are the one i belive and suppot dear so i will be happy if i can be among of u cose i no how to play or if u can take me as friend cose i have a clan that is CANNY MONEY RECORDS, who help orphans and needs ...............................................



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