Every time the Orlando Magic have faced adversity in the playoffs this year they have bounced back with a great performance the next game. After losing Game One of the NBA Finals by 25 points they needed to bounce back once more.
The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to ride their superstar Kobe Bryant to a title and in Game One it showed. Bryant took over the first game of the series with 40 points for the first time in his career in the Finals.
After shooting the ball poorly in Game One, the Magic did not shoot much better in Game Two. The good thing for Orlando is the Lakers did not shoot the ball the way they did in Game One.
The Magic played better defense than the previous game. The better defense and the poor shooting by the Lakers left the Magic in a 15-15 tie at the end of the first quarter.
The Lakers were able to shot the ball better in the second quarter and were able to build a slight lead. Off a great game by Derek Fisher who had 12 points in the game. Fisher was able to hit wide open shots when the Magic did not rotate over to him.
Orlando’s Dwight Howard had another double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the game. Los Angeles built a five-point lead to take a 40-35 lead at the half.
Orlando did not fall apart in the third quarter like they did in Game One. This time it was the Lakers turn to give the lead away.
Even with another solid game by Lamar Odom who had 19 points in the game the Magic got back in the game with the help of Hedo Turkoglu who brought the Orlando back with 22 points. Orlando built a two-point lead after three quarters with the score being 65-63.
In the fourth quarter the Magic and the Lakers traded the lead back and forth. Los Angeles got 24 points from Pau Gasol to help tie the game in the fourth quarter. With nine seconds left in the quarter Los Angeles left the ball in the hands of Bryant.
With the ball and less than a second in the game Orlando had one last chance to win. Turkoglu found Courtney Lee cutting to the basket. The shot by Lee was contested by Gasol as it bounces off the backboard ending regulation in an 88-88 tie and overtime.
The comeback by the Lakers ruined a game-high 34 points by Rashard Lewis who hit big shot after big shot for the Magic.
In the overtime Orlando had several shots that went half way down the basket then out. The Lakers were able to take advantage and make shots when they had the ball plus hit their free throws down the stretch. The Magic were able to keep close, but Bryant, with 34 points in the game, and the Lakers were able to take Game Two and a 2-0 lead.
Orlando with the 101-96 loss still has yet to win a game in the Finals. Los Angeles has history on their side knowing that teams with a 2-0 lead win the series 94.2 percent of the time.
Three teams have come back to win the most recent was in 2006 and the Miami Heat. That should give the Magic hope as they head to Orlando for Game Three on Tuesday.