Austin Reaves scores career-high 35 points, leads Lakers 111-105 – NBC Los Angeles

Austin Reaves scored 35 points, D’Angelo Russell added 18 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 111-105 on Sunday night.

Anthony Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds in another rough shooting night, but Reaves led the Lakers to victory with 13 points in the fourth quarter, including Los Angeles’ final 10 points in the final 1:33. The second-year pro has carved out a vital role for his star-studded team, and Reaves played in nearly every big game as the Lakers snapped a two-game skid.

Lakers fans serenaded Reaves with “MVP! MVP!” as they won back-to-back trips to the line in the fourth quarter.Reaves made 18 free throws to Magic’s 17.

“For them to recognize what I do, obviously I’m not an MVP-caliber player, those guys are really good, but to do that is special,” Reaves said. “It means a lot to me.”

The Lakers entered this game coming off losses against Houston and Dallas, jeopardizing their tenuous position in the playoff race. The win moved Los Angeles (35-37) back into ninth place in the Western Conference, tied with Minnesota.

“I thought (Reaves) was just being his normal self,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “What has happened all year. Stepping up in clutch moments for us, trying to make plays downhill, putting the defense in awkward situations with his ability to attack the paint and draw fouls. It was great. He finished with 35, and we needed them all.”

Rookie Paolo Banchero scored 21 points for Orlando, but was called for a nonsensical technical foul with 25.3 seconds to play after repeatedly arguing with the officials on the night.

“It puts you in a tough spot when they call you that,” Banchero said. “You want to defend yourself in vain, but we keep calling. We continue to focus, I think. We keep getting calls against us, so it’s difficult for us, but we still had a chance to win. You can’t blame it all on that.’

Franz Wagner also scored 21 points in the Magic’s sixth loss in eight games to end a four-game road swing. Wendell Carter Jr. had 16 points and 11 rebounds, but Orlando couldn’t repeat its 39-point fourth quarter lead in a win over the Clippers a day earlier in the same arena.

“It’s tough because I think we’re an aggressive team offensively,” Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said. “I think we have to continue to do a better job of defending without fail, show our support early and earn the respect of being able to get those calls.”

Cole Anthony scored the equalizer with 2:37 left for the Magic, who trailed throughout the second half. Banchero fouled Reaves on a 3-point attempt a minute later, and Reaves made two free throws before Wagner tied it again.

But Reaves hit a mid-range jumper with 57 seconds left and then grabbed Wagner’s long rebound 3 before making two more free throws. Banchero missed a card and got a technical foul that helped seal the Lakers.

The Lakers improved to 6-5 in the latest injury to LeBron James, who has been out for three weeks with a sore right foot. Ham reiterated before the game that Los Angeles expects James to return within three weeks before the end of the regular season.


Magic: Markelle Fultz had 12 points and 10 assists a night after dropping a career-high 28 points on the Clippers. … Jalen Suggs missed his second straight game with an apparent concussion.

Lakers: Mo Bamba missed his seventh straight game with a sprained ankle that kept him from playing against the sixth-ranked team in 2018 and traded him to Los Angeles at the deadline. … Lakers have won six straight against Orlando.


Magic: Schedule Washington on Tuesday.

Lakers: They will host Phoenix on Wednesday.

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