Superman Dwight Howard had some kryptonite thrown his way in the form of free-throws with 10.6 seconds left.
Kobe Bryant didn't play great, but again made a few really good passes down the stretch to give his teammates some great looks. That pass to Pau Gasol for the quick dunk with around 30 seconds left in regulation was incredible.
Derek Fisher might be the the most cold-blooded man in the NBA. Only Derek Fisher could be shooting that badly and then come through with the two biggest shots in the series. Fisher is a guy taking more heat than anyone in this series for his poor shooting. He was 0-5 from behind the arc and then TOTALLY REDEEMS HIMSELF!
The Magic have to be kicking themselves so hard right now. This series could have easily been 3-1 in favor of Orlando. Then again, the same argument could be made that the series could be a 4-0 sweep for the Lakers.
Orlando is a very young and inexperienced team, and it has shown. Keeping Rafer Alston on the bench for Jameer Nelson, missing open shots down the stretch that could have sealed the game, and of course the brick party that Orlando hosted at the free-throw line.
I'm sure Orlando is very disappointed at where they are right now as a team. In my opinion, they should keep their heads up. They have over-achieved this season and got to a place very few outside their locker room thought they would.
Seriously I really do not want to hear any complaining about the refs. Any argument saying the finals are fixed in favor of the Lakers is absurd! The Lakers did not shoot one free throw in the fourth quarter. That elbow Nelson ate was unintentional and just as much his own fault as Kobe's.
I have heard people saying that Kobe's elbow to Nelson was the no-call that cost Orlando the game. No, it did not cost you the game. You have to help yourself by making free throws and that's the bottom line.
The technical on Pau at the end of the game was a bit absurd. I understand the refs trying to keep things under control or what not, but I defy anyone to take a hit like that and not want turn around swinging. It was a total cheap-shot.
Orlando may have finally stacked the odds too high to overcome. They did not take advantage of the opportunities that could have won them the game. Orlando had every chance to tie the serie,s and when you give a team like the Lakers extra shots they will make you pay.
If Orlando and its fans should take anything away from this series, it's that they will be back. They have a lot going for them and I think that these finals have been a good learning experience.
Congratulations on a great season Orlando, but this just doesn't look to be your year.