Nikola Vucevic had 31 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and Terrence Ross made a go-ahead lay-up with 34 seconds left to help Orlando beat Los Angeles 108-104. With LeBron James, it doesn't matter what place they finish as he has the ability to turn on the heaters whenever he wants to.
In the absence of a consistent, legitimate No. 2 option, the Lakers are forced to try to win by committee.
LeBron James also collected 22 points, 10 boards and 7 assists as the Lakers sustained their hot streak and rolled to their seventh win in 8 games.
Here is a summary of what went right and what went wrong this week as the team approaches the end of the first quarter of the 2018-19 season.
Vucevic, who played at USC, made 15-of-23 shots and grabbed 13 rebounds. McGee and New Orleans C Anthony Davis are the only players in the National Basketball Association with at least five blocks in four games this season.
Los Angeles held command of the contest throughout and never fell behind by more than three points in the second half.
Neither team did much to distinguish itself early on the first game back from Thanksgiving.
Utah's 83 points were the second-lowest scoring output of the season.
Lakers star LeBron James looked a little exhausted in this one, compiling 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds - and six turnovers.
On the season, he is only making 67 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe, which is very poor. The Lakers lost the first three games within that margin, but have won the past five.More news: Marcus Rashford Won't Get Better Under Jose Mourinho - Former Premier League Star
After a rocky start, the Los Angeles Lakers have settled into a groove with the acquisition of veteran C Tyson Chandler (thank LeBron's former teammate James Jones for that one). He had a couple charges; that's absolutely fine.
The Lakers did not score again and suffered a disappointing loss which for the moment stalls their momentum.
The Lakers also struggled to defend point guard D.J. Entering Sunday's action, they ranked fifth in the league in this category with 13.8 per game, fitting considering they coughed it up 14 times against the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points and Brandon Ingram added 17. James is going to do his part, and most nights that will be enough. Ball and Ingram are likely the Lakers' two best perimeter defenders, further upping the importance of them defensively.
Even though it was just one game, this was an encouraging sign for Ingram moving forward this season. He rarely passes, and every time he touches the ball the movement stops and everyone watches him dribble and dribble until he forces up a shot. Isaac had six points and five rebounds against the Lakers in his third game back after missing six games because of an ankle injury. This was disappointing to many fans who expected him to emerge as a star this year.
After the Jazz game, James spoke about the importance of having aggressive and engaged versions of Ingram and Ball. He barely scored all week and did not score at all against the Magic. "Every game we come out with even more anger".
"My 11 years I played for this franchise, I just tried to give everything I could, both on the court and off the court, represent this city, represent this community with the utmost respect, be a role model off the floor, be a leader on the floor", he told ESPN. When we got stops, we got rebounds and then we got to the free-throw line.
Against the Jazz, he was 2-for-7 from the field and 0-of-3 from three-point range.
James explained his decision to kick it out to Caldwell-Pope when he met with reporters after the game.
On the positive side, he played generally strong defense and did have 5 steals against Orlando. Whenever James goes to a new team, it typically takes him a little while to adjust to him running the show.