Los Angeles (19-31) have dropped back-to-back games after opening this trek with a victory in Chicago and were hammered 129-107 by the Magic on Wednesday night. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points apiece, but the Lakers defense went AWOL in the third quarter when Orlando drilled nine 3-pointers and scored 43 points to extend a seven-point halftime lead to a 20-point bulge entering the final 12 minutes.
Their perimeter defense has been alarming. Aside from their 99-86 win over Indiana on January 19 in which the Lakers held the Pacers to two-of-25 shooting from 3-point range, opponents have connected at a 39.9 percent clip in the other eight contests in the last nine games. Overall, Los Angeles have allowed 110.1 points per game in that span, yet have scored enough to win five of those contests.
Brooklyn (19-33) have had defensive issues of their own lately, but made enough stops Wednesday night to defeat Philadelphia 116-108 and snap a four-game losing streak. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points and D'Angelo Russell added 22 in the best game of the six he has played since returning from a ten-week absence due to a knee injury.
The Nets are still dealing with injuries across their roster as starting forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is expected to miss a fourth straight game with a groin injury, but reserve guard Caris LeVert is expected to return after being sidelined for three games with a groin ailment.