Watch CBS News

LeBron James Scores 29, Plays Center As Lakers Rally Past Magic, 116-105

ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSLA/AP) — LeBron James scored 29 points and played exclusively at center in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit and beat the Orlando Magic 116-105 on Friday night.

Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel replaced starting center Dwight Howard with James to start the second half, and the Lakers opened the third quarter on a 20-2 run. They outscored Orlando 31-16 in the third, making 13 of 23 shots and 5 of 8 3-pointers in the frame.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and hit four 3-pointers, while Stanley Johnson added 11 points and five rebounds off the bench. It was the eighth time the 37-year-old Anthony scored at least 20 points this season.

One game after being benched in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to Indiana, point guard Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. When Westbrook fed James for an alley-oop in the fourth quarter, chants of "M-V-P" broke out for James among the pro-Lakers crowd.

The Lakers ended a three-game road losing streak, winning away from home for the first time since Dec. 28 in Houston. Friday's game was the start of a six-game, 11-night trip for the Lakers.

Orlando lost its fourth straight and for the 14th time in 15 games. The Magic led by 10 at the half in Philadelphia on Wednesday and by eight at the break on Friday but lost both games.

Rookie guard Jalen Suggs scored a career-best 22 points for the Magic while Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points. Mo Bamba, who scored a career-best 32 points on Wednesday in Philadelphia, had 11 points and eight rebounds Friday.

The Magic dropped to an NBA-worst 2-17 at home. They haven't won at the Amway Center since Dec. 1 — a span of nine straight home defeats.
James scored 18 points and Westbrook had 12 in the first 24 minutes, but the Lakers got little else from anyone in the rotation. Los Angeles led by seven in the first quarter, but it surrendered 24 bench points to the Magic in the opening half.

Talen Horton-Tucker was given a flagrant-1 after a hard foul on Suggs in the second quarter. Suggs was seen writhing in pain after Horton-Tucker inadvertently threw him to the ground as he contested his shot.

With this win against Orlando, Los Angeles climbed back to .500. The Lakers will continue their six-game road trip and face the Miami Heat Sunday, Jan. 23.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.