For an Orlando franchise understandably staggered by four straight losses and a grueling 1-5 road trip – with three of those defeats coming after they had built leads of at least 15 points early in the games – any sort of good news is needed right now. The worst of their schedule is behind them and there’s still a strong belief that they can recapture the good vibes that they played with early in the season – even after Wednesday’s second-half collapse in a 106-93 loss to the Utah Jazz. “Ending the trip like this, it’s really hard, but we’re still in the race and still in the playoff (chase),’’ said guard Evan Fournier, a veteran of 4 ½ Magic seasons. “A lot of stuff can still happen. It’s going to feel good to be back in Orlando. I mean, the biggest thing, we just have to figure out when we have a lead, we have to keep it.’’
January 22, 2019 | 10:31 pm EST Update
Brett Dawson: Thunder 123 Blazers 114 F | Paul George 36 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals; Russell Westbrook 29, 10, 14; Steven Adams 14, 8; Terrance Ferguson 14, 4 steals ; Jerami Grant 11; Dennis Schröder 13.
Josh Lewenberg: VanVleet: “It’s been up & down from a health perspective… I was OK the other night I just didnt make shots… Obviously not up to my standards. So it was good to get some rest, get some treatment, try to build some strength up & be able to be my best self on a consistent basis”
Gerald Bourguet: T.J. Warren will not return to tonight’s game due to a sore left ankle, per Suns PR
January 22, 2019 | 10:04 pm EST Update
Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss reiterated her support for Luke Walton, saying that Magic Johnson and the organization is behind the coach on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post pod. “I can tell you right now, that everyone, Magic, [GM Rob Pelinka] myself, everyone in the organization is behind Luke… We are doing everything we can to make sure that Luke is successful in his job.”
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors win their 10th straight game at home, tying the 4th-longest home winning streak in team history. They’re 2 wins away from matching the franchise record (set in 2016 and then again last season).