After getting bounced by 25-points in Game One, the Orland Magic redeemed themselves with a terrific turn-around performance that fell just short of taking the series to Orlando tied at one game apiece.
But magic was on the Lakers’ side as dead-on Orlando jump shots rattled out of the basket in overtime, and the Lakers survived to take a two game lead in the series.
Like two heavyweights feeling each other out, the first quarter was played almost at a standstill. It ended in a 15-15 tie that made it the lowest combined scoring quarter in the NBA Finals during the shot clock era.
Dwight Howard had eight rebounds in the quarter. The Lakers as a team only had eight overall to Orlando’s 14. The Lakers shot 30 percent while the Magic shot even less, 28 percent.
The Lakers edged ahead in the second quarter 40-35, but it was Rashard Lewis who kept the Magic close.
After scoring only two points in the first quarter, Rashard had 18 of the Magic’s 20 points in the second including three three-pointers.
Overall, the Magic shot 32 percent while the Lakers shot 42 percent, but Kobe Bryant had a very quiet six points on only five shots.
Once again, the Lakers' defense kept Dwight Howard bottled.
Howard only made one basket.
The Magic played very loose with the basketball committing 11 turnovers.
But in the third quarter, it was Hedo Turkoglu stepping up and scoring 17 of Orlando’s 30 points. It was Orlando’s highest scoring quarter so far in the series as they took a 65-63 lead.
Howard had picked up three more baskets and four assists as he fed the ball out of the post to his three-point shooters.
Howard also had four steals and three blocks.
The lead changed back and forth throughout the final stanza and came down to the last minute. Turkoglu made a 23-foot jumper to put the Magic up 88-86. Pau Gasol followed with a layup on a brilliant assist from Bryant to tie the score with 33 seconds left.
Then Courtney Lee missed a layup.
Lamar Odom rebounded and passed off to Bryant, who took it all the way down and tried for a jumper as he was double teamed. But it was Turkoglu who didn’t give up on the play and blocked Bryant’s shot from behind. Turkoglu got the loose ball and called a time out with just 0.6 second remaining.
Stan Van Gundy called the perfect play, an inbound pass from Turkoglu to Courtney Lee cutting to the basket.
But Lee missed the layup over Gasol to force the overtime.
The final outcome came down to free throws and a touch of luck—bad luck if you're the Magic.
Each team made only two shots during the five-minute overtime, but the Magic had two jumpers that hit the mark and then rattled out.
The Lakers, on the other hand, made 14 consecutive free throws over the fourth quarter and the overtime.
That was the difference that gave the Lakers the 101-96 win.
Rashard Lewis had a game-high 34 points and added 11 rebounds and seven assists. Hedo Turkoglu found the range tonight with 22 points. He also had six rebounds, four assists, and the block on Kobe Bryant from behind that sent the game into overtime.
Dwight Howard finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds along with four steals and four blocks, but he also had seven turnovers.
After putting up 40 points in Game One, Kobe Bryant didn’t break 30 tonight. He ended with 29 points and eight assists.
But, like Dwight Howard, he also had seven costly turnovers.
Pau Gasol finished with a double double, 24 points, and 10 rebounds. Lamar Odom had another quality game off the bench with 19 points, eight rebounds, and three key blocks. Odom had a game-high plus/minus of plus ten in 46 minutes.
Derek Fisher, however, was the Lakers’ key to the game.
It wasn’t just his 12 points and two-of-three from beyond the arc, but his defense and his heads-up play, taking charges, and forcing the defense to foul him at key points.
The Lakers shot 46 percent to the Magic’s nearly 42 percent. Both teams made one-third of their three-point shots, but the Magic had 20 turnovers that led to 28 Lakers’ points while the Lakers had 12 turnovers that led to 11 Magic points.
The next three games are in Orlando, starting with Game Three Tuesday night.