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For a night, Lakers’ Nick Young seemed like his old ‘Swaggy’ self

Rudy Gay, Nick Young

Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young, right, shoots over Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay during the second half on Oct. 30.

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Perhaps the P in “Swaggy P” meant perplexing.

Or perfunctory, as in the low minutes Nick Young was logging this season (18.2 a game before Tuesday).

The Lakers forward had been less lofty than loquacious, more erased than effusive as his minutes shrunk and his profile sagged other than the 41% he was shooting from three-point range.

There’s a new sixth man on the Lakers these days, free agent Lou Williams, and also a new media darling, Metta World Peace, who’s available almost any time with a smile and a “Hey buddy!” for any and all reporters.

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Young seemed like old news. Then came a road game against the Miami Heat.

“It felt good,” Young said. “The team was finding me. They could feel I was getting hot. Coach started running plays for me.”

Young had a chance to impress with Kobe Bryant sitting out Tuesday’s game because of a sore back. He took advantage of it and was almost perfect in the first half, scoring 14 points and making all four of his three-point attempts as the Lakers trailed, 50-49.

He didn’t shoot as well after that in the Lakers’ 101-88 loss, finishing with 17 points on six-of-13 efficiency.

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These are the get-hot times Young always loved, the ones missing from his ledger last season other than maybe the night in Atlanta in which he went wild on the scoreboard and then compared himself to Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen and Stephen Curry.

But Lakers Coach Byron Scott didn’t like Young’s defense or his over-the-top post-game celebration after a meaningless victory over Boston.

There seemed to be a carry-over this season. Young said he wasn’t down on himself with a lack of playing time before getting 26 minutes Tuesday.

“I’ve been in this league for a while and things change. It’s a long season,” he said. “You’ve got to stay with it, stay positive.”

Olympics for Bryant?

Bryant was adamant he was done playing internationally after the 2012 Olympics.

But he admitted Tuesday he was thinking about a run at the Olympics next summer in Brazil.

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“I’ve always said it would be fun to play. It’s just a matter if I could, if I was physically able to do it,” he said. Bryant said. “I probably thought I wasn’t going to be playing still. Never say never.”

Tough time, Huertas

Lakers reserve guard Marcelo Huertas had an interesting night, and it had little to do with his stats.

His one-legged 21-footer was blocked by Tyler Johnson in the second quarter and then Huertas pitifully slung the rebound over his shoulder in an attempt to draw iron before the shot clock expired. It wasn’t close.

He also got beat by Johnson on a cross-over drive in the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t all bad for the 32-year-old NBA rookie. Huertas found Larry Nance Jr. for a dunk with a nice no-look pass on a fourth-quarter fastbreak.

Huertas had two points and four assists.

UP NEXT

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LAKERS AT ORLANDO MAGIC

When: Wednesday, 4 p.m. PST.

Where: Amway Arena.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 1-6; Magic 3-5.

Record vs. Magic (2014-15): 1-1.

Update: Fourth-year shooting guard Evan Fournier is the surprise scoring leader for Orlando, averaging 19 points. Victor Oladipo is establishing himself as one of the NBA’s top defensive players and also averaging 16.1 points. Magic center Nikola Vucevic, the former USC Trojan, has missed three games because of a bone bruise on his right knee.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: Mike_Bresnahan


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