Despite the record, the Magic were only able to win by four points, making it obvious that the Lakers can and will hang with the blue and white throughout every game. There's no margin for error, and no time to let up.
If the Magic can play hard (preferably even harder, and smarter) tonight, they have a chance to even the series up 2-2. It won't be an easy task, especially back in Los Angeles, but Orlando can find solace in the fact that it is possible, and it has been done before (most recently by another Florida team, the Miami Heat).
Unfortunately for the Lakers, despite their commanding presence in all three games so far, they cannot play up to par without their star, Kobe Bryant. In Game Three, Bryant seemed to be fatigued by the rigors of the playoffs, shooting just 14 points in the final three quarters.
No. 24 has denied that he is fatigued, saying instead that he is more concerned with Orlando's shooting.
"They're in this position because they shoot the ball well," said Bryant. "It's not something that is just a fluke or one game where they got hot. They can get hot and stay hot. When that happens, you're dealing with a monster."
Indeed they have become, at the very least, a little warmer. In Game One, the Magic made only 29.9 percent of their shots.
Dwight Howard told reporters that the Magic have not let the first two games get in the way of their confidence and determination.
"We've worked extremely hard to get to where we're at, so we weren't just happy with making it to the finals and handing the Lakers an easy championship. We believe that if we play our game and play our style of basketball, this will be our year to win it. But we have to go out there and take it."
Trying to take the championship from the Lakers is like trying to take cookies from an overweight food-addicted baby—they will never go down without a menacing fight. To everyone in Orlando's corner, tonight is a must win at home at Amway Arena. The Magic also have a good opportunity to take Game Five as well at home.
However, Game Six goes back to L.A., where Howard and the crew have had quite a hard time this series. Putting two Ws up in the next couple of days is imperative.
Game Four is tonight,Thursday, June 11, at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.
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