On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers got off to a hot start, largely spurred by Jordan Hill re-entering the starting lineup. However, Nick Young would come up big down the stretch en route to a 103-94 win over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center.
Recently, Hill fell out of the rotation before becoming unavailable due to soreness in his knee. The combination forced Hill to fail to see the floor in eight straight games. After playing well off the bench against the Washington Wizards in his first game back, Hill got the starting nod and made the most of his opportunity.
After one quarter, Hill was tied with Pau Gasol and Nick Young for a team-high six points. By halftime, Hill was up to 14 points, which led all scorers in the game. To go along with that, Hill had a team-high six rebounds, helping the Lakers into the halftime intermission with a 55-48 lead.
After the intermission, however, the Lakers were dealt a heavy blow. Gasol was experiencing nausea and dizziness, so the Spaniard did not return for the second half. Instead, Robert Sacre started the third quarter alongside Hill.
Even without Gasol, Hill continued to perform. By the time the buzzer sounded to mark the end of the third quarter, Hill was up to a game-high 22 points. Unfortunately, the Lakers’ lead dwindled to two points entering the final 12 minutes.
Hill would eventually finish with 28 points, a new career-high, and 13 rebounds.
Young, however, stepped forward to help the home team maintain its superiority on the scoreboard and in the standings. With Xavier Henry out injured due to a torn ligament in his left wrist, Young played the entire fourth quarter and shouldered the offensive load.
After a quiet third quarter with only two points, Young dropped in 13 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 26 points for the game. Also, the Lakers held their opponents to under 100 points, so everyone won tacos. At last check, Gasol was still hooked up to an I.V. half an hour after the game had ended.
Notes: Kent Bazemore set a career-high with eight assists. Jodie Meeks had six steals in the contest.