The game begins with Dwight Howard being double teamed from the start. On the second possession, Bynum overplays him and commits his first foul.
Bynum will go on to be a non-factor in this game.
8:21, first quarter. Rashard Lewis is no match for Pau Gasol on the block.
7:54 Bynum commits his second foul. Howard makes one of two free throws. Lamar Odom comes in and the Lakers instantly get better.
7:44 Kobe still has the look of a man who has something to prove and will not let his team lose no matter what. Courtney Lee picks up his second foul and Pietrus comes in to guard Bryant.
Kobe goes right after him.
6:20 The Magic are now 2-9 from the field early on. Like Game One, open shots are being missed like crazy.
5:34 Lewis guarding Gasol is still a huge problem for Magic.
5:22 Pietrus picks up his second foul on a dumb play guarding Derrick Fisher at half court.
Who the heck is going to guard Kobe now?
I smell a J.J Redick sighting coming.
Early on and I'm already being bombarded by commercials for “wipeout” on CBS.
5:09 Turkoglu is now guarding Kobe. After two possessions it is clear he has no chance in this endeavor...or does he?
4:47 The Magic spacing on offense is terrible, especially when Gortat is in the game.
3:37 On a Lakers three on one break, they end up with an Ariza 17 foot jumper.
That can't happen.
You're telling me they can't get a better shot than that?
3:10 The Magic already have six turnovers, two less than in all of Game One.
2:56 We hit a “mandatory timeout.” I believe in Latin, the term actually means “advertising quota.”
Lakers lead 11-10.
During timeout, Stan Van Gundy calls out the entire team except for Rashard Lewis. His brother Jeff disagrees and says they are off to a solid start.
2:38 Odom hits a jumper to give him five quick points off the bench. He is playing like a guy who will be a free agent this time next month.
2:20 Howard misses at the line again.
This is just not good enough.
Redick is now in the game in the first quarter. I don't even have a joke for this.
Orlando is in trouble.
2:26 Holy cow!
Howard is called for an illegal screen on the wing, a play that occurred about 947 times in Game One without a single whistle.
End of first quarter, game is tied at 15. This is the lowest combined score in a quarter in NBA finals history.
Lewis, Pietrus, and Lee all have two fouls early. SVG is bent about his team's offense, which is well, offensive.
11:20 Magic have Gortat and Battie in the frontcourt at the same time.
Am I the only one who sees a problem here?
10:03 Magic are leaving Odom WIDE open. I think they are trying to get his free agent value up as some kind of backwards logic or something.
9:58 Jordan Farmar, the only Jewish American in the league, makes his only appearance in the game.
9:20 The officials have already called three offensive three second calls. My best guess is that they called the first one and knew it was dumb, so they made a make-up call.
Then, a different official, not realizing the make-up call was already made, called another one. This might sound crazy, but this IS the NBA where atrocious officiating happens.
9:04 Officials call that same illegal screen on the wing again.
Did these guys read my Game One blog or something?
I see a commercial featuring the Jackson Five song, “I'll be there.” Some things are just timeless.
8:48 Redick's corpse is getting abused at both ends of the court repeatedly. In a related story, today the sun rose in the East and set in the West.
The cameras found a whole new set of celebrities to scan through for Game Two...and Mark Whalberg.
Jeff Van Gundy is openly plugging the new movie, The taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3.
Is he getting an additional stipend for plugging movies and products during this series?
8:14 Jeff V. G points out the current Magic lineup has played less than 100 minutes together all season.
Ya, the Magic are in great shape here.
6:36 Bynum steps through the lane with a Kareem-like hook shot. This is actually quite impressive, but probably the only time this series that we'll see it.
5:54 Game is tied 26-26.
5:00 When Trevor Ariza is open enough, he is actually a decent three-point shooter.
4:14 Kobe goes one on three on a break and gets an assist on a Fisher three-ball.
2:57 Pietrus gets called for his third foul, bringing us one step closer to Redick having to guard Kobe in crunch time.
This has to happen!
Mark Jackson is fantastic on the telestrator. He clearly illustrates Howard's inability to consistently get back on defense.
2:12 The Magic still have ATROCIOUS spacing on offense. The Lakers extend lead to 36-29.
Lewis comes right back with a three...then another, just like that, and the game changed.
ABC's camera coverage is horrific.
They don't show the score heading into commercials, zoom in on Lewis sitting on the bench while (apparently) Gasol brings the house down with a dunk, and then top it off by not showing the clock with just 20 seconds left in the half.
If you work for ABC's camera crew, please do us all a favor and quit...now.
Lakers lead 40-35 at the half.
The Magic are hanging in despite the Lakers basically dominating the first half. Lewis has 20 of the Magic's 35 points. Kobe has taken just five shots for six points and five assists.
Magic are in this game for one reason only: the power of the three.
Halftime commercials are loaded with Kobe-LeBron ads.
How bad did Nike need the Cavs to be playing right now?
And ABC and ESPN for that matter?
During the half, SVG says his team must get out in transition...exactly what his brother just Jeff just said.
11:28 Howard starts the half with a strong half hook in the lane.
10:33 Orlando gets their first fast-break points...OF THE SERIES!
8:40 Apparently, Howard can only go to his right.
8:16 Magic take the lead 47-46...the lead lasts for six seconds.
7:26 Alston airballs a wide open three.
6:17 Kobe is starting to get after it.
Is he starting to realize it's his time to take over?
5:24 Jeff V.G channels Bill Walton by calling the Magic break, “the worst fast break I've ever seen.”
4:37 Ariza steal, Lakers break, Kobe dunk, and house falling down.
3:50 Turkoglu three ties game at 54.
3:23 Do we actually have any evidence that Rafer Alston and Jameer Nelson are not the same player?
Has anyone seen them in the same room at the same time?
Any DNA around?
Someone should get on this.
1:38 Odom gets tackled by three Magic players...and called for a foul.
The Zen master is either telling his team they blow, or something about flow...it doesn't really matter, as both statements translate to, “give Kobe the ball and get out of the way.”
End of third quarter, Magic lead 65-63. I know that L.A should win, but I'm getting that feeling in my gut that the Magic could actually steal this thing away.
Between quarters, coach Jackson is interviewed.
The reporter asks him some random question about guarding Turkoglu. He responds with some nonsense about guarding Howard. She asks another question about strategy and he responds that they need to pass more.
Even my girlfriend asks me why the heck they interview coaches during the game, noting, “why would they say anything meaningful at all?”
I couldn't have said it better.
11:27 Odom is playing out of his mind. He can smell the free-agent dollars and candy money already.
9:07 Gortat and others are playing tight.
Is Orlando scared?
8:49 Bynum picks up his fifth foul by standing next to Howard as he's running into his own teammate.
6:20 Kobe makes the most exciting turnover in history by dribbling out of bounds, stepping back in and making a fall-away three as he falls out of bounds again.
6:04 Lewis three gives Magic a two point lead.
5:15 Fisher layup ties game at 77. This thing is going down to the wire.
4:30 Gasol scores over Lewis in the post, 79-79.
3:35 Lakers are playing five man defense to go with their one man offense.
3:08 Pietrus fouls out, Kobe to explode?
2:49 Mark Jackson mentions that Turkoglu said, before the game, that he wants to guard Kobe in crunch time.
I'm fairly certain Kobe wants that too.
I just realized that this is the first finals in memory that didn't have a theme song. No, “Get This Party Started,” no “Hey Baby,” no “Fighter,” and no “This is How a Heart Breaks.”
Okay, I'm done. Back to the game.
2:40 Turkoglu mugs Kobe.
Trying to take him out of his game or just bad defense?
2:19 Redick three-ball ties game at 84. I give Redick a lot of crap because, well, he sucks, but this was a big shot.
1:33 Lewis goes one on three on the block and somehow scores.
1:11 Kobe comes right back with a jumper in Turkoglu's face.
47.7 Turkoglu makes a long jumper with his foot on the line (right after he stepped out of bounds). Orlando leads 88-86.
9.1 Courtney Lee misses an open layup, Odom rebounds, and Lakers take a time-out.
Kobe goes one on four and gets blocked from behind by Turkoglu, who has stepped up huge. Ariza, Odom, and Fisher are all wide open at the arc.
0.6 Lee ends up with a layup attempt falling out of bounds, which just misses. Technically, Gasol gets away with a goal-tend when he touches the rim as the ball is on it.
The score is tied at 88 going to overtime.
Overtime in a finals game? Holy Crap!
3:37 in overtime. The Lakers look poised. Everyone on the Magic besides Turkoglu looks scared to death.
2:24 A ridiculous Kobe drive and score makes the game 92-91, Lakers. Kobe and Hedo have officially moved from boxing gloves to steel knuckles. The refs are letting them play, which is absolutely the right thing to do.
1:53 Jeff V.G all but says that Redick and Alston are afraid to shoot.
1:31 A Turkoglu jumper rattles in and out on a HUGE possession. At the other end, Gasol gets fouled, resulting in a three-point play.
The score is 97-91.
I am thinking this was the sequence that decided this game.
28.2 Lewis misses from three. Howard pushes off Gasol on the rebound. The Lakers go up 99-93.
26.2 A Lewis fade-away three on the ensuing out of bounds play keeps the Magic alive, but still on life support.
The Magic fail to steal the inbounds pass and have to foul Odom. He makes his free throws and the Lakers hold on to win 101-96.
The Magic go down two games to one. I stand by my belief that the Magic will get no more than one game in this series. They basically played as well as they possibly can play and still came up short.
This was one of the most exciting games I've ever seen. My girlfriend slept through the fourth quarter and overtime...I love this game!
And that is how I saw it.