LA Lakers floored by magic from Orlando's Markelle Fultz, Latest Basketball News - The New Paper

LA Lakers floored by magic from Orlando's Markelle Fultz

Orlando guard helps his side end LA's nine-game winning streak with his second career triple-double

Markelle Fultz faked LeBron James off his hip, weaved through traffic in the waning seconds and scored the final bucket of his phenomenal triple-double performance.

Fultz then dropped to the court with a cramp. The Orlando Magic rushed to their teammate's aid, with Nikola Vucevic swiftly stretching out Fultz's foot to make sure he could finish.

"It was the biggest play of the game," Vucevic said, with a laugh.

Fultz had several bigger ones, and so did a half-dozen contributors to what was likely the Magic's best win of the season.

Fultz hit two lay-ups in the final minute while scoring 21 points during his second career triple-double, and Orlando snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' nine-game winning streak with a 119-118 victory yesterday morning (Singapore time).

He added 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Aaron Gordon had 21 points. James had 19 points for the Lakers and matched his career high with 19 assists, but he also missed a tying three-pointer with three seconds left.


"It just shows how deep this team go, how much we believe in one another and what we're capable of," Fultz said.

"We have guys out, but our mindset was the same going into the game. We all believed we had a chance to win this game and we relied on one another."

The Magic played without injured regulars Evan Fournier, Michael Carter-Williams and DJ Augustin in their third stop on a six-game road trip, but they've rarely looked better.

Wes Iwundu scored a career-high 19 points while starting in Fournier's place and Vucevic scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter of the Magic's eighth win in 12 games.

Fultz said the final minutes were "what I've dreamed of", and the Magic were thrilled to see it come true for the up-and-down former No. 1 overall pick.

"Boy is nice, and he's only going to get better," Gordon said.

"He did a great job just running the show, settling them down, getting good shots. And then down the stretch, he took over."

The Western Conference-leading Lakers (33-8) hit the halfway point of their regular season with their first loss since Christmas. They finally failed to overcome the absence of Anthony Davis, who missed his fourth straight game with a bruised backside.

"We've just got to be better," James said.

"We didn't start the game out the right way, but I'm not disappointed in anybody or anything that we did.

"Our bench was the reason there was a game at the end, they came in and produced everything we needed." - AP


Boston 103 Detroit 116, Miami 106 San Antonio 100, Oklahoma City 121 Toronto 130, Denver 100 Charlotte 86, Houston 107 Portland 117