Keep in mind, this is coming from a Laker fan. Thus, the below observations are completely biased.
1st Quarter: - Kobe line-drives an 18-footer 78 seconds in, we get our first teeth-clenching moment.
- Gotta give it to Courtney Lee, he's got an awful lot of confidence for a rookie who blew a game-winning layup and missed two wide open threes to start the game.
- Bynum picks up the obligatory 2nd foul with 8:42 left in the first. True to form, his foul was wasted, not hard enough to prevent a three-point play, not soft enough to avoid the whistle.
- Kobe forces another shot early in the shot clock. Will he ever take the ball to the basket again?
- Skippy throws in his second prayer of the game. He's a different player at home.
- Kobe FINALLY decides to take the ball to the basket and gets a three-point play. The NBA: where amazing happens.
- This is the "hardest" Jeff Van Gundy has seen Howard play for a six minute stretch... in this series... in the games in Orlando... while the Magic have had the lead... and Courtney Lee has two fouls. Riveting stuff.
- Was it irresponsible for ESPN to have the coach's brother commentate these games?
- Speaking of the Van Gundy's, the interview of Papa VG was priceless in game three.
- I love it when Turk complains that he got fouled. It's kind of like watching Bobby Brown protest against domestic abuse. If Bobby Brown had been born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Tony Battie sighting.
- Orlando fans boo when Kobe rips through, raises up, and draws the foul. Have they ever watched Turkoglu play?
- DJ Mbenga sighting. Drumroll please... Josh Powell sighting.
2nd Quarter: - Luke Walton starts things off with a feathery jumper. He has played terrific basketball all playoffs long.
- Proof positive that Breen is an idiot. "J.J. Redick has become a facilitator this year under Stan Van Gundy." I checked the stats: Redick averaged an eye-popping 1.1 apg this season.
- Turk is making himself some money this series. He's playing all-star ball.
- Magic by 10. Maybe their game three shooting (and the Lakers' defense) wasn't a fluke after all.
- In case you were wondering, Marcin Gortat cannot guard Pau Gasol.
- Bynum makes his first legitimate post move in 96 hours. In other news, Americans elect their first black president. Wait...
- Dwight Howard grabs his 47th rebound of the half.
- With no other low post options, L.A. subs-in trainer Gary Vitti. Maybe he will box out Howard.
- Mark Jackson criticizes SVG for not subbing Turkoglu on the last offensive possession. Shockingly, JVG quickly changes the topic of conversation.
Halftime: Magic 49, Lakers 37
3rd Quarter: - Since when did Brian Scott become the spokesperson for the Lakers?
- Bryant pulls up and hits a three on the slow break. Camera pans the Magic bench as Pietrus drops his warmups.
- Ariza hits his third straight shot, and it's a five-point game. And the Magic just lost 10% of its playoff fan base.
- In breaking news, Kobe likes Hedo as a player.
- Question for SVJ: when a player is one-dimensional and that dimension is failing, why would you keep him in the game? Sub-out Redick.
- The refs confer with Fisher, who calls it Laker ball.
- Maybe Howard shouldn't have sprinted every possession in the first half... he looks winded.
- Orlando looks lost without Turkoglu on the floor.
- In the most amusing play I've seen in recent memory, J.J. Redick tries a Hedo/Kobe pump, lean, & chuck and actually expects a foul to be called.
- I stand corrected. Kobe trying to man up on Howard is the most amusing segment I've seen in recent memory.
End of 3rd: Lakers 67, Magic 63.
4th Quarter: - SVG tries to weather the storm by starting the fourth with Tony Battie in the lineup. Nice.
- Why doesn't Shannon Brown play in this series? He would give Skippy fits.
- Wow. Pietrus blows the 1-on-0 break. That's a game-losing play right there.
- Did Jameer Nelson gain weight and shrink during his layoff? He looks like Muggsy Bogues tonight.
- After Pietrus hits a three, Kobe hits an impossible three, check that, two, in Pietrus' face. Coincidence? I think not.
- Even JVG is annoyed by the "hand down, man down" phrase at this point...
- Whenever Dwight Howard makes a free throw, I feel like a flock of seagulls has just crapped on my head.
- Pietrus is one of those Stephen Jackson/Travis Outlaw players, the player who has no concept of good basketball play vs. bad basketball play. These types of players tend to play well at the end of games because they have no filter and aren't bothered by the moment (because they don't understand what "the moment" is). 76-75 Magic.
- The lost 10% of June Magic fans are back again.
- David Stern walks over to the Laker's bench and takes back the embroidered "best closer" chair when Kobe misses a wide open three.
- Mark Jackson offers his apologies to SVG for questioning his playing "Muggsy" Nelson in the fourth quarter. JVG bites his tongue.
- Does that "best closer" chair belong to Trevor Ariza?
- Stern calmly walks the chair over to the Magic bench and slides it under Turkoglu as he sits down. Magic by 5 at the timeout.
- Kobe takes a horrendous three as the rest of the team watches. This is getting old.
- Howard misses first of two. This one could make it a two possession game. Shot's up... and out. The Lakers have life.
- Fisher hits the second-biggest shot of his career, and JVG's partiality comes out as he chastises Jameer Nelson for leaving him open.
- 4.6 left, tie game. SVG is contemplating subbing-in Courtney Lee.
- Pietrus misses the buzzer-beater. So much for my above theory.
End of 4th: Lakers 87, Magic 87.
Overtime: - Lewis starts things off with a "magical" three. Okay, I apologize to anyone who just read that.
- Kobe with two straight. Stern sneaks back to the Magic bench to reclaim the "best closer" chair.
- Pietrus blatantly whacks Bryant on the wrist. No call.
- Howard hits 1-of-2 to make it a tie game with 1:30 left. The Magic team doctor resuscitates SVG.
- Gasol swears in espanol as Nelson hooks his arm on the rebound attempt.
- Fisher hits the third-biggest shot of his career, and Breen finally gets a chance to talk again. Lakers by 3.
- After a Bryant elbow, Nelson's teeth would be intact if he ever kept his mouthguard in his mouth.
- France and Spain square off. Advantage: Spain.
- Game, set, match. Series over, folks.
Final: Lakers 99, Magic 91.
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