10:55 - The Lakers are all over the boards. Dwight Howard seems to be on an island by himself with no help. 2-2.
9:58 - Kobe gets on the board with a tough running jumper.
9:33 - Fisher runs right over Rafer Alston, no call, Fisher easy layup.
8:51 - Orlando gets a three on one fast break. They end up with a missed Lewis layup and no rebound... NOT good.
7:50 - Alston refuses to shoot with no defender within seven feet of him. He forces a bad pass in to traffic that is stolen.
7:07 - Fisher attempts to flop, no call, Lewis layup. Orlando leads 15-6 early.
6:08 - Gasol clearout on the block, scores over Lewis. 17-10 Orlando.
4:56 - Courtney Lee misses an open three-ball. There are FIVE Lakers under the boards and no Magic to be found.
3:15 - Howard makes a strong move to the right (the only move he has), but misses the easy layup.
2:44 - Again, Howard makes a strong move to the right (the only move he has), but misses the easy layup.
2:09 - Mike Breen: “The Lakers haven't lost three straight games since Gasol arrived in February of 08.'” Ok, that is seriously bad news for the Magic.
1:21 Howard misses again from point- blank range.
- Howard gets the ball in the paint. Four Lakers surround him immediately. The refs bail out Howard with the whistle. 28-26 Magic lead.
A Pietrus missed three ends the first quarter.
10:32 - Bynum makes a sweet move in the paint. Magic lead 30-28.
9:37 - Tony Battie gets it in to Howard down low for a score and a foul. 34-28 Magic.
9:05 - Jameer Nelson enters the game. It takes him a whopping 15 seconds to turn the ball over.
8:32 - Odom makes a sweeping reverse layup under the backboard. Score AND ONE.
6:43 - Gasol blocks Gortat at the rim.
5:52 - Fisher drains a wide open three. 40-39 Magic.
5:41 - JVG: “That's my least favorite call in the NBA.” (referring to a double technical foul on Ariza and Odom.”
5:07 - Lakers secondary break, Ariza makes a wide open three. 42-40 Lakers take the lead.
4:12 - Ariza drains another three from the same spot. 47-40 Lakers.
3:37 Fisher layup, 13-0 Lakers run to lead 49-40. The Magic are on the ropes. We all knew a time would come in this game where they would have to either find an inner strength they haven't shown yet or roll over. This is that moment.
3:07 - 16 straight Laker points. 52-40 on an Odom score.
2:37 - An Alston driving score ends the Orlando drought. 52-42 Lakers.
2:06 - Mike Breen: “(Hedo) is known for his good 'ball denial.'” Good to know...
1:16 - Ariza banks in a jumper as the shot clock expires. 56-46 Lakers.
0:48 - JVG: “Gortat is a better defender than Howard.” Um, didn't Howard just win the defensive player of the year?
Lakers lead 56-46. Mike Wilbon sums up the first half perfectly, “Orlando is backing down.”
Thanks to Chris Connelly we learn that “the three tenors are the triangle offense of the opera.”
Stu Scott: “Who was your musical influence as a player?”
Jon Barry: “Bette Midler.” I couldn't make this stuff up.
11:15 - The Magic have come out looking to get the ball to Howard. (even if they have to force it in).
8:49 - Bynum picks up his fourth foul. Will it even matter? I'm guessing no.
6:47 - Two straight Odom threes make it 64-53 Lakers.
Commercials featuring vignettes of players holding the championship trophy are in full swing. The end is near.
4:30 - Magic shot clock violation. It is all coming apart now. 68-55 Lakers.
3:39 - Kobe goes one on four and still gets fouled and goes to the line. 71-55 Lakers.
Mark Jackson, “the Magic must respond right now.”
2:39 - J.J Redick enters the game, a classic sign of desperation.
1:38 - Alston is the only Magic player that seems to have a pulse out there. Naturally, SVG pulls him out of the game in favor of Nelson.
1:14 Howard picks up his fifth foul. This will have no impact on the rest of the game.
- Farmar hits a runner. 76-61 Lakers. I keep waiting for one last push by Orlando. I'm no longer sure it's coming.
Kobe is in the game. He's engaging his teammates, he's dominating at both ends, he has the scowl. The Magic are done.
11:02 - Kobe scores to give him 23 points. He currently has Redick guarding him... Redick? Why even bother guarding him at all at this point?
9:22 - Lewis fouls Walton to keep him off the boards. These are the things that happen when the ship is crashing. 80-67 Lakers.
8:18 - Kobe drains a DEEP three-pointer with Hedo all over him. The scowl strikes again. Kobe already has a line of 26/5/5/4. I won't even point out how obvious it is that he's going to win finals MVP... DOH!
6:37 - The refs are swallowing their whistles. Let them play!
5:00 - The commentators are in full-out “kiss Kobe's a^^” mode.
3:55 - Gasol gets his own rebound and a putback. 93-76 Lakers. Orlando has given up.
- The Magic have gone into a full-court press. (about three quarters too late. Nice move, SVG!) Has one coach ever outcoached another as badly as Phil Jackson did in this series? Oh wait, Don Nelson over Avery Johnson in the Warriors-Mavs series a couple of years ago, my bad.
- Adam Morrison was in a suit this entire series (but still impacted it as much as Redick). Does he still get a ring?
It's all over. The Lakers are champions. The Magic were outcoached, outhustled, and outplayed.
There were a couple of dramatic moments earlier in the series, including a historic game four battle. That said, the best team clearly won this thing.
This Lakers team will not go down as one of the greatest of all time by any stretch. They were, however, the best NBA team of this year and that is what matters.
And that's how I saw it.