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.