(Photo: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
The Los Angeles Lakers picked up rookie center Tarik Black off waivers after the Houston Rockets had to let him go in order to open up a roster spot to pick up Josh Smith. It was a minor move that wasn’t expected to have any huge impact on the Lakers season; however, at least for one night Black had a massive impact, with this energy and dominance on the boards, helping the Lakers secure a 101-84 victory over the Magic.
The Lakers led for the majority of the game but it got close early in the 4th quarter with the Magic getting as close as 3 points at the 11:21 mark in the 4th following an Evan Fournier 3 point play. Black and the Lakers answered back strong finishing the quarter by outscoring the Magic 28 to 14.
Tarik Black and Jeremy Lin played the entire 12 minutes of the decisive 4th quarter.
In the 4th Black scored 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, 3 of them being very important offensive rebounds. Black didn’t appear in the 1st half but was impactful in the 17 minutes in the 2nd half, finishing with 17 points, 9 rebounds, shot 6 for 7 from the free throw line and even had a block, his 3rd of the entire season.
Lin scored 8 points in the 4th quarter and finished the game as the game high scorer with 18 points.
The Lakers didn’t shoot well on the night, finishing 40 percent from the field and 7 for 21 from 3 but were able to offset that by holding the Magic to an even worse 39.5 percent shooting and most importantly owning the boards by a mark of 60 rebounds to the Magic 36. The disparity was even greater in terms of offensive rebounds with the Lakers grabbing 18 offensive rebounds to the Magic’s 4. The massive edge in rebounding contributed to the Lakers getting 14 more field goal attempts and 8 more free throw attempts on the night.
Ed Davis were one of those Lakers’ big men that fueled the rebounding dominance on the night; Davis finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds with 6 of them coming on the offensive end.
Carlos Boozer continued his stellar play off the bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game high 14 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant sat out for the 5th game this season due to rest his tired and aging body. Scott made the game time decision and provided his thoughts on the move.
Byron on deciding when Kobe sits: "If I don't feel like he's 110% then I'm gonna sit him down." Said today he didn't see that in him.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 10, 2015
The Lakers are now 2 and 3 in those 5 games without Bryant.
The Magic were led in scoring by 2nd year guard Victor Oladipo who had 17 points on the night and an impressive dunk on Lakers forward Jordan Hill.
The win improves the Lakers record to 12-25 which ranks 14th in the Western Conference.
In their next game the Lakers host the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday.