The Los Angeles Lakers (14-26) will host the Orlando Magic (16-22) at the Staples Center Sunday evening a few nights after scoring a season-high 127 points in the 27-point rout of the Miami Heat on Friday.
The resounding win over Miami came few nights after Luke Walton's young team notched up a season-high tally of three-pointers (17) and assists (34) against the Memphis Grizzlies, the No. 1 ranked defensive unit in the league. This latest run has given Lakers fans a lot to cheer about after a gloomy December which saw them register just two victories.
D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle -- the Lakers' young lottery picks -- are making rapid strides and putting up impressive numbers since the start of 2017. But its rookie Brandon Ingram's career-high tally of 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists during the 127-100 win against Heat that has pleased coach Walton.
“I think he’s (Ingram) slowly been getting more comfortable at navigating the paint. He’s had in each of the last couple games, some really nice finishes, coming off of one leg and using his length around the rim to get angles. Like anything else that’s just figuring it out as a young player, trying to see where he can look to take advantage of things," Walton said, via LakersNation.
Walton also downplayed the incident involving Jordan Clarkson and Goran Dragic which saw both guards getting ejected during the third quarter. "A couple of players pushing each other, I don't think it is that big of a deal. You never want a fight to happen, but whatever, keep the game moving and let's go."
Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic: Young teams lacking defensive efficiency
Meanwhile, the Magic will begin a six-game road trip on the back of four losses from the last five games, most of them by big margins. After coach Frank Vogel called out the team a few times for lack of intensity on the defensive end, the Magic responded by restricting Houston Rockets, the second-best offense in the league, to just 100 points during the 7-point defeat to James Harden & Co. on Friday.
After the game, veteran point guard D.J. Augustin said the young team is improving on the defensive end. "It was a big game for us defensively to prove what we can do, prove (it) to ourselves. Holding that team to 100 points is big for us, but it didn't get the win. So, it doesn't feel that good. But at the same time, we can take a lot from this game and move on," Augustin said, via ESPN.
Evan Fournier, who leads the Magic in scoring with 17.5 points per game, returned after a five-game injury layoff during Wednesday's defeat to Atlanta Hawks and is expected to suit up against the Lakers.
After hosting Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers stay at home to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. The Magic will stay in Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic live stream: How to watch
Start time: 9:30 PM (ET), 6:30 PM (PT), 12:30 PM on Monday (AEST), 1:30 PM (AEDT)
On TV: Time Warner Sports Net, Fox Sports Orlando (USA)
Live Stream: NBA League Pass (Global)