Tagged in: Otto Porter Jr.

Lakers hold off Magic 96-93, win again without LeBron, Davis

Dennis Schröder scored 24 points, Kyle Kuzma added 21 and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 96-93 Sunday night.

Montrezl Harrell added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has won two in a row without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, the Lakers had a tough time trying to shake the Eastern Conference’s second-worst team.

Orlando’s Otto Porter Jr. had a clean look at a 3-pointer to send it to overtime, but the shot hit the rim.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we played well. This is a tough shooting night, but our defense carried us through,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated.

Los Angeles improved to 2/3 without James and Davis. They are fourth in the Western Conference at 30-17 and are 2 1/2 games in front of Denver and Portland. They are also two games behind second-place Phoenix and a game in back of the third-place LA Clippers.

“We’re not playing for holding on. We’re paid to do the same job, which is win games,” Harrell said. “We’re going to try to continue to keep rolling until they get back.”

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Kuzma, who also had 11 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season, said the Lakers got plenty of open looks, but were not unable to convert until late.

Los Angeles made only 41.6% of its shots from the field for its sixth-worst shooting game of the campaign.

“We probably got the most open looks that we’ve had all season, especially on 3-pointers,” he said.

Orlando had a 82-77 lead with 7:19 left after R.J. Hampton drilled a 3-pointer. The Lakers trailed 84-80 midway through the fourth quarter before going on a 12-1 run to seize control as Schröder and Kuzma each had five points.

Los Angeles had a seven-point lead with under three minutes remaining, but the Magic got within three going to the final possession.

Dwayne Bacon led the Magic with 26 points and Chuma Okeke scored 14. Orlando (15-31) has dropped 13 of 15.

Even though he has plenty of moving pieces after five players were moved at the trade deadline, Orlando coach Steve Clifford was frustrated with his team’s failures to execute down the stretch.

“We fouled unnecessarily, played undisciplined defense and missed blockouts,” he stated. “We played hard and didn’t play smart. The game was there to be won. Nobody knocked it out of the park.”

There were nine lead changes and three ties during the first 13 minutes before the Lakers went on a 17-3 run to go up 39-26 with under three minutes remaining in the second quarter. The Magic rallied to get it down to a five-point deficit at halftime (44-39) as Bacon had seven points down the stretch.

Markieff Morris’ 3-pointer gave the Lakers a 61-53 lead before Orlando scored eight consecutive to tie it at 61 with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter. There were three more ties in the quarter as it was 69-all going into the final 12 minutes.

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Bulls´ Otto Porter Jr. out at least 4 more weeks with small fracture in foot

The Chicago Bulls announced Friday that small forward Otto Porter Jr. underwent an MRI this week that revealed a setback in the healing of his left foot injury.

Porter is suffering from a bone edema and will be reassessed by doctors in two weeks.

The 26-year-old Porter, who is in the midst of his second season with the Bulls, has not appeared in a game since Nov. 6 and has missed the team’s past 13 contests.

Porter was originally the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. He progressively improved during his time in Washington and enjoyed his best season in 2017-18 when he averaged 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 44.1 percent from three.

His numbers started to drop off last season, though, resulting in the Wizards trading him to Chicago for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round pick.

In 15 games with the Bulls last season, Porter averaged an impressive 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Hopes were high for Porter entering this season, but he got off to a slow start before injury struck.

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Porter is presently averaging just 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from deep.

This season is significant for Porter and the Bulls since he has the right to opt out of his deal at the end of the season. If Porter exercises his $28.4 million option for next season, however, he can become a free agent in 2021.

Without Porter, 2018 first-round pick Chandler Hutchison was getting more playing time at small forward, but he is currently out with a shoulder injury.

Until one or both of Porter and Hutchison return, veteran Thaddeus Young will likely see some action at small forward, and the 8-14 Bulls will also continue to go small with Zach LaVine, Coby White, Tomas Satoransky and Kris Dunn all receiving ample run.

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