Following a three-game win streak the previous week, the Orlando Magic started the Thanksgiving week with a two-game losing streak. All that changed once the Magic played the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday.
The Magic finished their game against the Denver Nuggets and flew to Los Angeles, where they would play an away game against LeBron James and the Lakers. While the teams have met before previously in Orlando, the Magic were the ones that ended up winning the home game.
Now the Lakers had home court advantage and were looking for another home win.
During, Saturday’s practice, before the game, head coach Steve Clifford spoke with the media and gave some insight on how the Magic would be able to adjust to their game against the Lakers.
“We’ve been good with that and its critical in this league,” Clifford said. “I mean, you have to be able to play the game, win or lose, watch the film and then, handle adversity or success or whatever it is and learn from it and move on. And the guys have been good with that.”
It was clear that based off what Clifford said, that the Magic were learning to accept whether they win or lose, and move on. This mentality definitely showed during the game against the Lakers.
Towards the end of the game, the Magic’s 15-point lead was chipped away into single digits, with the game eventually reaching a moment where both teams were tied.
Fortunately, the Magic were able to pull through during the fourth quarter and end with a win. Allowing the Magic to beat the Lakers twice, at home and away, something that hasn’t been done since the 2008-09 season, when the Lakers had Kobe Bryant and the Magic had Dwight Howard.
During the post game interviews, some of the players talked about how they felt on the recent win.
“Oh, it’s a good win for us. They’re a good team,” Aaron Gordon said. “They’re going to continue to be good. We got that out of the way. I mean, Vuc killed them both times, so that was a tough matchup for them. So they don’t match up very well with us. Glad we got them out of the way.”
“That was a great win for us, especially after we beat them at home a week ago,” Nikola Vucevic said. “We came back again today, and were able to get another win and that’s huge for us.”
Coach Clifford also shared his thoughts on the game, mentioning how toward the end of the game, the Lakers had the Magic on the ropes and how the Magic were able to get some good looks offensively, as well as playing great defense to overcome the Lakers.
The Magic play the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 26 at 10:30 p.m. EST.
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