You could see it in Kobe Bryant's eyes. He wants this championship very, very badly and the Los Angeles Lakers wanted it very badly as well. The Lakers opened the NBA Finals with a overpowering performance over the Orlando Magic, 100-75, in Los Angeles.
Bryant led all scorers with 40 points, which is a career high in the NBA Finals, along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Pau Gasol had eight points and Lamar Odom scored 11 with 14 rebounds. And probably the most unlikely stat of the game was the Magic's Dwight Howard, who scored 12 points and shot one-for-six from the field.
This game was the kind of game we all expected from the Lakers. They intimated the inexperienced Orlando Magic. Every possession was played with aggression and a no-holds barred attitude, especially in the paint, where the Lakers outscored the Magic, 56-22.
Defensively, the Lakers dominated as well. The Magic shot under 30 percent from the field, which was half of what they shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers. You could see the nerves in entire Magic team and never got in rhythm. But as Howard commented after the game, "I'm not nervous, it just one game."
The best thing for the Lakers to do right now is to forget about this victory. Go home, play with their wife and kids and get a good night's sleep. A 25-point win in game one is great, but it's only game one. The Magic didn't stamp their ticket to the Finals by playing soft.