Shocking Austin Reaves Performance Leads Los Angeles Lakers Over Orlando Magic

An unlikely hero saved the day for the Los Angeles Lakers in last night's 111-105 win over the Orlando Magic. Second-year guard Austin Reaves exploded for a career-high 35 points while also contributing six rebounds and six assists, all off the bench.

Reaves hit nine of his 14 field goal attempts and 16 of his 18 free throws. It was his first 30+ point game of the season and only the second of his young career. At 25 years old, Reaves appears to be rounding into a credible rotational player: he's averaging 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game with a sensational .673 true shooting percentage. If he can maintain his efficiency at a higher load, he could be just the offensive complement the Lakers have been looking for.

The Lakers are 35-37 and 10th in the Western Conference, so every game for the rest of the season will be absolutely critical. They've managed to keep their heads above water by going 5-6 over LeBron James' recent 11-game absence, but they'll need to do even better if they want to claw their way out of the play-in tournament. The Lakers are currently 1.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

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