In game one of the NBA Finals the Orlando Magic learned that they might not be ready for the bright lights and grand stage of a championship series. The Magic led by two points after the first quarter. After that things went downhill for Orlando, and they went downhill quickly.
The Magic dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers with hot shooting, and after the first quarter the whole team went cold. Some of it was due to the Lakers' good defense, but most of it was poor shooting by the Magic. Orlando, who have lived by the three point shot in the playoffs died by the three point shot in game one.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, they were able to dominate in the paint, outscoring the Magic 56 to 22 in the game. All the Lakers who were able to get minutes in game one had solid games. Los Angeles got another solid game out of Pau Gasol with 16 points in the game, and Lamar Odom came off the bench to record a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. The Lakers led by 10 points at the half at 53-43.
After half time, L.A. continued to dominate the game. Orlando’s shooting woes continued through the second half as well.
The Magic shot under 30 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from the three point line. The thought before the finals was that the Orlando foul shooting would be a weakness., but in game one that was the only thing they did well—shooting 72 percent from the foul line.
None of the Orlando players had great games, but Dwight Howard did have a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu scored 13 points and Mickael Pietrus came off the bench to lead the Magic with 14.
The night overall belonged to Kobe Bryant. The Lakers star had his best scoring game in an NBA finals game in his career, scoring 40 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Los Angeles wion game one of the series by 25 points and could have won by a lager margin, but the Lakers played their bench for most of the fourth quarter.
The only good news for the Magic in the 100-75 loss was the fact that Jameer Nelson was able to play. After being out for the last four months with a shoulder injury that required surgery, Nelson was two months ahead of his rehab schedule. Nelson had six points and four assists in his return.
The Lakers took a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series and can put the Magic in a deeper hole with a win in game two.
The Magic are still looking for their first ever finals win, after being swept in their only other finals appearance. With the game one loss they are 0-5 all time in the finals. Orlando gets another chance to notch that first win when they play game two Sunday.