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Lakers shoot their way past Magic to end 4-game slide

ORLANDO, Fla. — After the week they’ve had, the Lakers needed anything to start going right.

About an hour-and-a-half before tip-off on Tuesday night, Coach Darvin Ham hoped that they would find something within themselves to end a four-game losing streak.

“We haven’t had a lot of success here recently,” he said. “But just coming out with that fire to want to get on that right side of the win-loss column I think just forces you to play with an edge.”

The Lakers (14-20) found some fire – and some shooting – against the Orlando Magic, who had won eight of their previous nine games and were one of the hottest teams in the league.

Eight Lakers combined to make 17 3-pointers – and none of them were LeBron James, who had a game-high 28 points – as the Lakers snapped their cold stretch with a 129-110 victory over the Magic.

For a team that is still bottom-five in the league in 3-point shooting, the perimeter baskets felt like rain in the desert. Patrick Beverley made four, Troy Brown Jr. hit three, and three other players finished with at least two. It gave the Lakers an important edge against a Magic team that had a dramatic size advantage, and they passed the ball well with 32 assists – 13 from Russell Westbrook, who notched his third triple-double of the season (15 points, 12 rebounds). Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 54.4% overall.

The one player who couldn’t get any luck from outside was James, whose 0-for-7 night behind the arc means he now has missed 15 consecutive 3-point attempts in road games. But the 37-year-old adjusted by getting to the rim, hunting matchups on the post, and memorably throwing down a third-quarter lob from Austin Reaves over a helpless Mo Bamba.

James (seven rebounds, five assists) narrowly missed extending his streak of 30-point games to eight, but the four-time league MVP looked relieved all the same to finally win after four straight losses in which he had scored even more.

More to come on this story.

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