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Lakers-Magic Finals, Game Four: The Heartbreaker in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 11:  (L-R) Derek Fisher #2, Trevor Ariza #3, Kobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate in the final moments of the Lakers' overtime win over the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Randy GarciaAnalyst IMay 19, 2016

I’ve seen a lot of NBA Championship games and this has to rank as one of the best.  A great start by the Magic, a third-quarter comeback keyed by a player who had been quiet in the Finals followed by a hard fought fourth quarter and overtime.  This game was a grueling contest in which both teams left everything on the court.

 

Dwight Howard still not unstoppable

If there was ever a game for Howard to dominate this was it.  All three Laker big men were in foul trouble in the second quarter yet Howard shot only 5-of-12. 

 

The Lakers have other players than Kobe

Trevor Ariza personally brought the Lakers back in the third quarter.  Derek Fisher hit key shots at the end of the game and in overtime.  The Lakers got a great team performance in the second half and that was the difference in the game.

Kobe was a mediocre 11 for 31.  The Lakers would not have won without great overall play

 

The Magic can keep up their great shooting

Rashard Lewis went 2-for-10.  Rafer Alston went 5-for-13. 

When the Lakers were in foul trouble early the Magic couldn’t capitalize.  In the second half the Magic had no answers while the Lakers were getting strong performances from everyone they put on the floor.

 

Overtime belongs to the Lakers

The Lakers scored 12 points to the Magic’s four points.  Howard and Turkoglu took wild shots, the Magic committed fouls at inappropriate times and Pietrus lost his composure at the end while committing a flagrant foul.

 

The Lakers are in control of this series

Game Four was a crucial game for the Magic.  If there was to be a comeback in this series the Magic needed to have this game.  Now with a 3-1 lead the Lakers have to win one of three games while the Magic would have to sweep.

Over the course of the playoffs the Magic have been very resilient.  I think they’ll play hard in Game Five but if the game is close the Lakers will win. 

Stan Van Gundy will throw a lot of different looks at the Lakers in Game Five.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Magic have some early success but fade in the second half.

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