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Lakers 101, Magic 84

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LOS ANGELES — Despite playing without Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers coasted to a 101-84 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night at Staples Center.

Reserve point guard Jeremy Lin led the way, finishing with 18 points and six assists, but forward Tarik Black was the star of the show. Black, who Los Angeles picked up after the rookie was waived last month by the Houston Rockets, scored nine of his 14 points in the second half and grabbed nine rebounds, helping the Lakers blow the contest open in the fourth quarter. Black hit all four of his field-goal attempts and six of seven free throws.

Lakers forward Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 14 rebounds as Los Angeles (12-25) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Bryant missed the game because Los Angeles coach Byron Scott decided to rest him. Lakers forward Ryan Kelly, who replaced Bryant in the starting lineup, had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Guard Victor Oladipo scored 17 points to lead the Magic (13-26), who lost their fifth in a row. Forward Tobias Harris had 15 points, while center Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

The Lakers dictated for much of the first half, grabbing a 29-20 lead after one quarter and taking a 54-45 lead at the break. They limited the Magic to 37.5 percent (15 of 40) shooting in the first half while hitting 42 percent (21 of 50) of their shots. They also outrebounded Orlando 29-20, including a 9-3 edge on the offensive end.

However, Los Angeles allowed Orlando to creep back into the contest in the third quarter. After trailing by as much as 12, the Magic sliced the gap to 73-67 on forward Channing Frye’s 3-point bucket with 7.7 seconds left in the period.

Orlando closed within three to open the fourth quarter, but a 9-0 run by the Lakers pushed the lead back to double digits after Lin converted a layup with 9:17 remaining. The Magic got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

NOTES: Lakers coach Byron Scott had high praise for Magic center Nikola Vucevic. “I (believe) he’s really developed into a really true center,” Scott said of the 7-foot, 260-pounder, who played three seasons at nearby USC before Orlando acquired him from the Philadelphia 76ers in the deal that sent Dwight Howard to Lakers. “Runs the floor, pretty good athleticism…and he rebounds the (heck) out of the ball. Our guys have to put a body on him at all times.” … Lakers PG Ronnie Price returned to the starting lineup after missing one game with a broken nose and flu. F Wesley Johnson missed his third game with a strained right hip flexor. … Orlando resumes its road swing in Portland against the Trail Blazers on Saturday, while Los Angeles hosts Portland on Sunday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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