Dewayne Dedmon disliked the end result, but Sunday's 103-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers fulfilled him in at least one respect.
He was able to play an NBA game in front of family.
Dedmon, who is from Lancaster, Calif., which is about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles, had eight family members and three friends in the Staples Center stands.
"I got to have my family come to the game, so that's really nice," Dedmon said. "It's definitely, definitely good to come back to L.A."
Dedmon, a 7-foot-tall center, is in the midst of the high point of his career so far.
As a child, his mom forbade him from playing organized basketball for religious reasons, and he didn't join a team until his senior year of high school.
This season he had stints with the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers but didn't stick with either team.
The Magic signed him to two 10-day contracts, then signed him for the remainder of the season.
Dedmon received his first extensive playing time with Orlando during the Magic's four-game West Coast trip. In those four games, he played 11.0 minutes per game and he averaged 3.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Because he joined the team late in the season and remains raw as a player, he has a long way to go before he gets up to speed on all of the Magic's plays on offense and concepts on defense.
"I'm getting a lot more comfortable," Dedmon said. "You start figuring out what the coaches want from you and how to do it. It gives you enough time to try to figure out what, exactly, is right and what's wrong and then try to correct it."
Dedmon told Fox Sports Florida during a pregame interview that he chose to wear 3 on his Magic jersey because he was hoping his third NBA team would be the team that gave him a chance to remain in the NBA for an extended period of time.
He's happy with that choice.
And with his opportunity.
"It did stick for the rest of the year," Dedmon said, smiling. "I got the rest of the year guaranteed, so it works."
Playing back home in Southern California was a dream come true.
"I came a long way in the last few years," he said.
The Magic could be exhausted when they host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at Amway Center.
The Magic played a pair of back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. They flew home immediately after the loss to the Lakers, but they didn't arrive at Orlando International Airport until 5:30 Monday morning.
Rookie guard Victor Oladipo tallied 21 points, five rebounds and 10 assists against the Lakers. But he also committed eight of the Magic's 20 turnovers.
"I can correct the turnovers," Oladipo said. "I can see if I was going out there trying to make crazy passes, trying to do stuff that isn't there. But a lot of the turnovers I can correct. So if you want to take a good thing out of the bad, that's one thing. "
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