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LeBron, Lakers turn back Magic to return to 500

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
LeBron, Lakers turn back Magic to return to 500
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots during a game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on January 21, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Los Angeles Lakers returned to the win column on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) as they turned back the Orlando Magic, 116-105, in Amway Center in Florida.

After trailing 54-62 at the half, the Lakers clamped down on defense to avoid the upset axe against the cellar dwellers.

The Lakers flipped the script with a 31-16 third salvo and did not give up the lead after that.

LeBron James paced the Lakers with 29 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block.

Four other Lakers also finished in twin-digit scoring.

Carmelo Anthony led the supporting cast with 23 markers.

Rookie Jalen Suggs was the bright spot for Orlando with 22 points.

Elsewhere, the LA Clippers squeaked past the Philadelphia 76ers, 102-101.

Reggie Jackson sank clutch freebies to put the Clippers up permanently.

While Marcus Morris Sr. missed both his free throws to leave the door ajar, Tyrese Maxey missed on a driving floater as the Clippers hanged on.

Seven different Clippers finished in double-digit scoring wiht Jackson leading the pack with 19 points.

He also had nine assists and three rebounds.

In the other games, the Atlanta Hawks did an escape act against the Miami Heat, 110-108.

Trae Young paced his team at home with 28 points, three rebounds and seven assists.

The Portland Trailblazers and the Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, beat the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, respectively, with identical 109-105 scorelines.

The Charlotte Hornets, for their part, drubbed the OKC Thunder, 121-98.

Miles Bridges finished with a double-double of 22 points and 14 boards.

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