May 20, 2024

At this point, Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said, the data isn’t anywhere complete enough for a team to make any real statistical evaluations.

But, Mosley said before Saturday’s game against the Lakers, it’s never too early to be on the lookout for trends. And for the team Mosley’s Magic defeated, there’s one trend staring it in the face.

The Lakers were mostly an uninspired mess against Orlando, beset by all kinds of problems in a 120-101 loss to the Magic. They set sloppy screens. They played with limited offensive rhythm, relying too much on isolation. They struggled to knock down shots. They got beaten backdoor and they couldn’t contain dribble penetration.

But more than anything — and at this point, it’s the trendiest trend — the Lakers were dominated on the glass, Orlando extending possession after possession while the Lakers stood, arms at their sides and hands on their hips.

The Magic had 19 offensive rebounds leading to 36 second-chance points, each one serving as a backbreaker for a Lakers defense that was having a hard enough time getting stops.

Teams have outscored the Lakers 117-54 on second-chance points through six games, a crippling deficiency they’ve had to fight against each time they’ve played.

The Lakers, again, were short-handed, their regular rotation hit hard for the second straight game.

Gabe Vincent will sit out at least two weeks as he deals with knee swelling. Taurean Prince sat out his second game in a row with what the Lakers are calling “patellar tendinitis.” Rui Hachimura is still in concussion protocol. And Jarred Vanderbilt is limited to stationary on-court work in his recovery from a heel injury.

Rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino also has been out since late in the preseason after hyperextending his knee.

Hachimura was on the court for shootaround Saturday morning, a sign that he could be nearing a return. Same, coach Darvin Ham said, for Prince, as he said the two would be back “sooner than later.”

Cam Reddish, one of the defensive stars in the Lakers’ comeback win against the Clippers on Wednesday, started again for Prince. But unlike the game against the Clippers, he wasn’t able to generate the same kind of winning plays on either end of the floor.

Same for backup big man Jaxson Hayes, who was called for two illegal screens in his 11 minutes on the court.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) reaches with his right hand to try to grab the basketball from Magic guard Anthony Black.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis and Magic guard Anthony Black chase down a loose ball in the lane during the first half Saturday.

(Gary McCullough / Associated Press)

D’Angelo Russell also struggled, missing nine of 10 three-point shots, scoring just 11 points.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots. LeBron James had 24 points and Austin Reaves scored 20.

Franz Wagner has 26 and Paolo Banchero had 25 for the Magic, who were without starters Wendell Carter Jr. and Markelle Fultz and key reserve Gary Harris.

The Lakers, for the fifth time in six games, trailed by at least 10 in the first quarter, and the Magic lead would grow to as many as 25 in the second half before the Lakers made a run.

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