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Lakers end 4-game skid behind Hill’s career-best 28

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LOS ANGELES — For the second game in a row, Jordan Hill and Nick Young were the center of attention for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The two forwards, who were involved in a skirmish with Washington Wizard forward Drew Gooden on Friday night, helped the Lakers snap a four-game skid with a 103-94 victory over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center on Sunday night.

Hill scored a career-high 28 points to go along with 13 rebounds, while Young delivered 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers (23-46) handed the Magic their ninth consecutive defeat.

Orlando (19-52) lost for the 23rd time in 24 games. The Magic is the worst road team in the NBA at 4-34.

“The way Jordan Hill played today, we need everybody to bring that same intensity,” said Young, who shot 8-for-17 from the floor. “I don’t know if he can do it again, though.”

Young was joking. However, he and his teammates are trying to avoid becoming a punch line in L.A., where they are close to completing the worst Lakers campaign since the club moved west more than 50 years ago. The 1974-75 Lakers’ 30-52 mark is the record for futility in L.A., and Young, Hill and the rest of the Lakers would like to avoid that distinction at all costs.

“We are still the Lakers,” Hill said. “This is definitely one of the top organizations in the league, if not the best. We have to take a stand for ourselves. Can’t quit.”

Hill delivered his best performance of the season and posted only his third career game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, all three coming this season. Hill said he felt almost unstoppable against the Magic.

“Keep attacking, keep playing aggressive,” said Hill, who converted nine of 15 field-goal attempts and hit 10 of 13 free throws, topping his previous high of 24 points against the Detroit Pistons in November. “My mindset out there is no one can keep me off the offensive boards and no one can keep me (away) from the rim.”

Guard Victor Oladipo led Orlando with 21 points and 10 assists. Guard Arron Afflalo added 18 points, while forward Tobias Harris had 16 points and nine rebounds.

“It’s tough every night,” said Harris, who scored 12 of his points in the first half. “It’s tough to point my finger on what we need to do, (but) we need to get better. There are some games we could get on the road, and we should have got this one.”

The Magic trailed the Lakers 91-87 before Young canned a 3-pointer with 3:23 remaining in the game and guard Jodie Meeks, who finished with 13 points and a career-best six steals, added two free throws about a minute later. Orlando got no closer than six the rest of the way.

Hill was the difference, Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said.

“I think he made an impact on the game, which is energy and effort,” Vaughn said. “I think it was through dunks, offensive rebounds, rolling to the rim, being aggressive at the rim (and) putting the ball back in. So, give him credit for playing with energy and effort and giving his team some edge tonight.”

The Lakers led by as many as 15 points in the first half before the Magic rallied in the third quarter. A 3-point basket by guard Doron Lamb with 27.9 seconds remaining in the quarter cut Los Angeles’ lead to 75-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

Los Angeles center Pau Gasol became ill during the first half and did not return after intermission. He was scheduled to spend the night in a hospital and be re-evaluated Monday. Gasol had six points and two rebounds in 19 minutes.

NOTES: Lakers G/F Kobe Bryant announced Sunday he has formed Kobe Inc., according to ESPN. One of the firm’s initial investments is in a sports drink called BODYARMOR. … Lakers G Steve Nash, who has played only 11 games this season because of nerve root irritation in his back, did not play because of a sore right hamstring. Nash could return for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. … Magic G Jameer Nelson missed his third straight game with a sore left knee. Nelson is listed as day-to-day. … Los Angeles G Xavier Henry is probably done for the season after an MRI exam Saturday confirmed he has a torn ligament in his left wrist. Henry, who has missed 27 games, was hurt in Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards. … The Lakers are 11-3 in regular-season contests against Orlando at Staples Center.