The Orlando Magic built on a 16-point to start the fourth quarter of Game Six then unleashed a lethal assault dethroning King James and the Cavaliers 103-90, earning the right to play in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Well I just think this team all year long has shown an incredible amount of heart coming back," said an impassioned Stan Van Gundy as he accepted the Eastern Conference trophy. "When people...you, know Jameer went down everybody thought, we were done. And we were behind in the first two series' everybody thought were done. This team just keeps fighting back. They deserve it."
A chorus of the famed "Na, na, naaa, na, na, he,y hey, hey good-bye" chant could be heard ringing throughout the Amway Center as the final seconds of the fourth quarter ticked off the clock.
The final buzzer sounded, confetti filled the court and the Orlando Magic became the 2009 Eastern Conference champions!
Guess Nike will have to stop running the cute MVP (most valuable puppet) ads since No. 23 will be fishing for the Finals.
Dwight Howard was truly the Man-o-Steel tonight with 40 pts, 11-15 FTs, 14 rebs, 4 asts, his spinning slam with 1:49 remaining in the fourth pushed the lead back to 16 all, but sealing the win but he also had a host of help from his fantastic super friends as the Magic lead the game wire to wire.
Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus, Rafer Alston, combined 10-21 from the three-point line and snagged 17 rebounds and dished five assists.
"We came up short because we didn't execute on both ends of the court," said a beaten Mike Brown in his post game news conference.
LeBron James (25pts, 7rebs, 7asts) simply ran out of gas. He gave it the best he had in the first quarter with 13 points but didn't get any of the help he saw in Game Six and never got his motor past third gear.
After briefly speaking with this team mates James left, slipping out the back of the Amway Arena with his tail between his legs and without speaking to reporters after the game.
The Cavaliers limped through the game like a team that no longer had the stamina to stand against the bevy of Orlando shots.
This will be Orlando's second trip to the Finals in their franchise history and the first time since the Shaq and Penny days in the mid-90s, Orlando will represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals. That 1995 team was swept by Houston.
However, the 2009 Magic have been giant killers in the playoffs this season taking out the team that won the title last year, the Boston Celtics, and the team with the best regular season record this year the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now they face a Lakers team who have zealous thoughts of winning their 15th NBA title.
The Magic defeated the Lakers 2-0 in their regular season head to head meetings but will start their run for the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the Staples Center on Thursday night June 4th. Orlando earned it with team chemistry on defense and a ton of three's on offense and if they will have to continue to drain those shots against a longer and stronger L. A. squad if they hope to win their first championship.
All of the world will be watching to see if the Magic can continue to slay the favorites. Many will think they can't do it but that won't stop them from going out to make everyone believers. They've already done it once, they can do it again.
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