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Orlando Magic Make Cleveland Cavaliers Disappear to Head to NBA Finals

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: Hedo Turkoglu #15 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic hug teammates after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Bryan FlynnAnalyst IMay 31, 2009

The Cleveland Cavaliers need to win game six to their playoff series against the Magic alive but, after five great games their star LeBron James runs out of gas. While James could not get help from his supporting cast. Orlando’s star Dwight Howard did not have to carry the load for his team and was fresh for game six and it showed.

Orlando jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter for just the second time in this series.  Using good defense and looking a step quicker than the Cavaliers the Magic built a five point first quarter lead.

Rashard Lewis with 18 points in the game helped the Magic get a fast start. Delonte West has his best game in this series with 22 points in the game as he tried to keep Cleveland close.

The Magic stretched out their lead in the second quarter as Cleveland had no answer for the Orlando game plan. The Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao had his best game since game one in the series with 14 points in the game. 

Orlando gets another good game from Mickael Pietrus with 14 points and Rafer Alston with 13 points. With an eighteen point lead after two quarters the Magic lead 58-40 at the half.

In the third quarter Mo Williams tried to bring the Cavaliers back by hitting his first five shots and scoring 17 points in the game.  Cleveland is able to cut the lead down a couple of times in the third quarter but are not able to maintain any momentum long enough to finish a comeback.

For the Magic in the third quarter Hedo Turkoglu has another solid game. The Orlando forward has 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assist. Turkoglu runs the high screen and roll the whole series that Cleveland does not have answer for.

In the fourth quarter Cleveland looks to LeBron James to bring them back to force a game seven in Cleveland. James has no legs as he misses shots short or over shots the ball.

James is slow on defense all night and he cannot drive the lane like he normally does. James has his worst game of the series only scoring 25 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assist.

Any thoughts of a comeback at squashed by Dwight Howard who was unstoppable all night. The slower Cavaliers defenders cannot stop Howard from getting in to the lane and scoring off a nice hook shot and rebounding the ball for easy dunks. Howard has his best game of the series with 40 points and 14 rebounds as the Magic win 103-90.

With the 4-2 series win the Magic are headed to the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history. The first time around Orlando was led by a very young Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway in 1995.

That team was swept by the Houston Rockets in four games. This time they will try to win a game in the finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA Finals begins on June 4 in Los Angeles.

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