ORLANDO, Fla. -- Nick Young took the ball and spiked it on the floor as the Orlando Magic were in the midst of a 14-0 run to close out the third quarter Friday. You half expected the ball to lay flat on the court rather than bounce high into the air.
If all of the Los Angeles Lakers were deflated, why shouldn't the ball be, too?
The tantrum, spurred by Young missing a layup on the fast break when he thought he was fouled, led to his fourth technical foul in the past five games.
Things are so tough for the Lakers -- losers of 15 of their past 18 -- these days that, after Friday's 114-105 drubbing, the hit Young's wallet will take from all those T's doesn't nearly match the damage to the team's pride in what has become nearly five weeks straight of consistent losing.
How it happened: The Lakers led 16-8 early, and it felt like all downhill from there. The Magic used runs of 11-0 in the second quarter and 14-0 in the third to take a 81-70 lead into the final frame. L.A. used a 6-0 spurt to try to get back into things at the start of the fourth, but the Magic were too much in the end.
What it means: Mike D'Antoni gave a sort of state of the Lakers address, explaining their woes before the Magic game:
"It's a little bit of youth coming in. It's a little bit you get into an NBA trot, and we're not good enough to play [that way]. Miami can do that. They can have plays where, 'Oh, you're right. My fault.' We can't do that. Our margin to win is very limited because of injuries and stuff, so we have to play at a high caliber of intelligent basketball all the time, and we have to be engaged all the time. If we're not, we come up short, and we've been coming up short because there are times in the game where we're not quite focused like we should be. We're trying to work on it. It's not a criticism. To me, that's reality. And those are the things we talked about and things we can get better."
The following 48 minutes of basketball in Orlando only further proved his point. The Lakers just aren't very good right now, and they need just about everything to go right to even have a chance of beating a Magic team that came into Friday having lost 12 out of 13 games.
Hits: Pau Gasol had another strong individual effort go to waste with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
Kendall Marshall had 19 points and 14 assists.
Ryan Kelly had 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
L.A. shot 12-for-22 on 3-pointers (54.5 percent).
Misses: Young shot just 6-for-16.
The Lakers were outrebounded 51-40.
L.A. allowed Tobias Harris to put up 28 points and 20 rebounds.
Stat of the game: L.A. had zero turnovers in the first quarter and led by four. The Lakers had 11 over the next three quarters during which they were outscored by 13 points.