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Great Scott: 116-96 Rout for Lakers : Pro basketball: Guard scores 32 points in victory over Orlando. Los Angeles wins its eighth game in a row.

January 23, 1991|MARK HEISLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ORLANDO — He walked like Byron Scott, he talked like him, there were even flashes when he played like him.

But if you wanted to see pre-hamstring-pull Byron, you had to go back two seasons--until this trip, when a highlight reel became flesh.

Tuesday night, Scott scored 32 points in three quarters, giving him a 27.5 average for the trip and a 75% shooting percentage, as the Lakers beat the Magic, 116-96, for their eighth consecutive victory.

It was their first victory on the second night of back-to-back road games. Although they didn't enjoy the suggestion they were having trouble bouncing back, they were 0-4, averaging 84.5 points, never breaking 100 and being beaten by an average of 15 points in such games.

Problem or coincidence?

"I think it was a little of both," forward James Worthy said.

The trip is two days old and the Lakers are 2-0. Scott has scored 55 points in 64 minutes. For the moment, at least, an explosiveness rarely displayed since he suffered a pulled hamstring in Detroit the day before the start of the 1989 NBA finals, is evident again.

"He struts his stuff a little different," Magic Johnson said. "When he's got it, he struts. There's a look that shooters have to have. Now he's got that look."

Scott started the season with a more humble look.

"I still didn't know if I could do certain things," Scott says. "You have this little man in the back of your mind saying, 'Your leg's going to give out if you go to the basket. You're not going to be as fast. You're not going to be as quick.' "

The Lakers lost in Orlando last season, blowing a 15-point lead. It was their only loss to an expansion team in Johnson's 12 seasons.

They were embarrassed to find themselves the only NBA team that hadn't won here. "That," said Scott, "was not a good feeling."

And then there was the back-to-back problem/coincidence. Johnson, tired of hearing about it, promised the night before: "We're coming to play. That's it."

This time, the Lakers had a 12-0 lead, having made all five of their shots, including three-pointers by Johnson and Scott, while the Magic missed all five of their shots.

Things went so well for the Lakers that Johnson only had to play 25 minutes. Scott sat out the fourth quarter, six points away from his career high.

"I've had two good games, there's no doubt about that," Scott said. "I'm not going to try to compare to two years ago. That was a different team, a different style."

Laker Notes

Guard Byron Scott started this trip with a 14.7 average, shooting 47.5%. Now his figures are 15.4 and 49.3%. . . . The Lakers have won 13 of 15. . . . Magic Coach Matt Guokas told Sam Vincent to enter the game in the fourth quarter. Vincent, beaten out by point guard Scott Skiles, said he had a tight hamstring.

Are the Lakers interested in Skiles? A Magic source says they have called to inquire about all of the Orlando guards, but were told Skiles isn't available. However, Skiles is going to be an unrestricted free agent, and the Magic has refused to negotiate until after the draft. . . . Laker Coach Mike Dunleavy says he is trying to make up for the heavy minutes Magic Johnson and James Worthy are playing by letting them coast through practices. Said Johnson: "We've got a good balance. He knows if you play 40, 42 minutes, you can't go out and practice 2 1/2 hours straight."

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