Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Wednesday, November 27th
Lakers102Final
Magic112
Game 2: Sunday, December 15th
Magic84Final
Lakers107

Lakers 102

(5-11, 1-8 away)

Magic 112

(9-7, 5-2 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 27, 2002

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 21 29 23 29102
    ORL 31 22 28 31112

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Bryant 38 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Orl: T. McGrady 38 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Magic bench the difference in win over L.A.

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tracy McGrady had teammates to back him up, and Kobe Bryant didn't.

    Tracy McGrady
    McGrady

    McGrady and Bryant each scored 38 points, but Orlando's Darrell Armstrong scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half to lead a strong effort by the Magic's reserves in a 112-102 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday night.

    The Lakers' bench was outscored 24-7, and Andrew DeClercq held Shaquille O'Neal in check in the second half. All of it happened a night after the Lakers' bench was outscored 36-8 in a loss to the Miami Heat.

    "I'm not happy with the way guys are coming off the bench and their heads are not in the game,'' said Bryant, who made 14 of 31 shots. "If you're going to come off the bench and spell a player for five minutes, you can't have mental lapses.''

    Bryant also called out teammate Samaki Walker, who was placed on the injured list Tuesday with a strained lower back.

    "He is not hurting any more than I am,'' Bryant said. "I am out there playing, and he should be, too.''

    Los Angeles lost its seventh straight road game while allowing the most points by an opponent this season. They also broke a seven-game winning streak against the Magic.

    The highly anticipated matchup of McGrady and Bryant -- ranked first and third, respectively, among the NBA's scoring leaders -- was thrilling, but didn't prove who was the better player. Bryant had 10 rebounds and McGrady nine assists.

    "He's going to get his and I'm going to get mine,'' McGrady said. "My thing is, I just started getting my teammates involved.''

    With Grant Hill starting, Armstrong came off the bench for the first time this season. And as anticipated, he was rested and ready.

    "This role is perfect, because I think you can see how fresh he is,'' Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "Darrell, with rest, is dangerous on anybody.''

    "When I'm coming off the bench, you can see the change in the pace of the game,'' Armstrong said.

    Meanwhile, DeClercq stepped in after starting center Shawn Kemp proved helpless against O'Neal, who was playing his fourth game after being activated from the injured list last week. O'Neal scored 18 points in the first half, but DeClercq held him to 10 points after halftime.

    O'Neal made 11 of 20 shots and had nine rebounds in 36 minutes, the most since his return from toe surgery.

    "He had some difficulties and he missed some easy ones,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    DeClercq also had eight points and six rebounds, both season highs.

    "DeClercq was huge. Huge,'' Rivers said.

    Hill had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists despite sitting out the fourth quarter because of pain in his surgically repaired left ankle. He missed the previous two games and most of a third with tendinitis in that ankle.

    Rivers said he took Hill out because he thought the ankle was being favored.

    "I just decided he wasn't going to play any more,'' Rivers said.

    The game marked the debut of the Magic's long-awaited big lineup: Hill running the point with McGrady and Miller on the wings. Orlando didn't have to wait long for a payoff, scoring 15 points in the opening 4 minutes, 37 seconds, as it opened a nine-point advantage.

    "I thought they did a really nice job playing with each other and through each other,'' Rivers said. "It has a long way to go, but it has some great signs.''

    But with Hill's minutes being monitored as he recovers from three operations on his left ankle, that unit was infrequently on the floor following the promising start.

    The attendance of 17,283 was the largest ever for a Magic game, as 35 handicapped seats were added to the T.D. Waterhouse Centre for the night.

    Game notes


    The Lakers had not lost to the Magic since falling in Orlando on Feb. 22, 1998. ... Los Angeles still has a 21-7 advantage in the all-time series, including a 10-5 edge on the road. ... With Orlando's victory, Portland has the longest current winning streak against the Magic. The Trail Blazers have won seven straight from Orlando. ... The sellout was the Magic's first of the season. ... The 15 Lakers-Magic games played in Orlando have all been in front of capacity crowds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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