Magic make Lakers offense disappear down the stretch

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It would not surprise me at all if the Denver Nuggets pulled off a resounding win over the increasingly improving Lakers and for good reasons. One victory came on the road in Cleveland and the other was at home against the Utah Jazz.

Nikola Vucevic scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Sunday as the visiting Orlando Magic upended the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in eight days, earning a 108-104 victory.

He had eight points, three rebounds and an assist down the stretch to lift Los Angeles to a 109-104 win.

Butler finished with 34 points and 12 rebounds, and Joel Embiid had 32 points and 12 boards for the 76ers.

And arguably their most promising young player, Ingram, admits the Lakers are guilty of watching LeBron and expecting him to do big things for the 16-time National Basketball Association champions late in games instead of moving around him. One interesting stat line belonged to Brandon Ingram, who scored a team-high 24 points but also led the team with 6 turnovers and a slew of missed free throws.

Without Mitchell, the Jazz lost their third straight game to the Lakers at Staples Center. The Lakers held Utah under 30 percent shooting for most of the first half, but then blew an 11-point lead in the final 3 ½ minutes while committing 13 turnovers in the first half.

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Lakers small forward LeBron James is averaging 28.6 points, but was held to 22 in the loss to Orlando and 22 again Friday night in the win against Utah. Ball and Ingram are likely the Lakers' two best perimeter defenders, further upping the importance of them defensively.

Ingram has been aggressive all season, but in the process he has forgotten how to move the ball. The Magic now have four victories in their past six games.

Luke Walton's team - who are now the seventh seed in the Western Conference - were outscored 35-19 in the third quarter having been in strong command.

Their shaky interior defense, the major issue during their sluggish start, has been shored up by the acquisition of veteran center Tyson Chandler to provide back up to starter Javale McGee.

"Every single game is kind of different so I'm just going off of learning experiences, trying to see what each game has to offer where I can attack and each spot". Whenever James goes to a new team, it typically takes him a little while to adjust to him running the show.

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