For the seventh time this post season the Los Angeles Lakers follow up a loss with a victory.
And again Los Angeles prevails 99-91 over Orlando. The Lakers outscored Orlando 12-4 in overtime. Now, Kobe Bryant is a win away from his first championship without Shaquille O’Neal.
Bryant had another poor shooting night. Bryant missed 20 shots but he was perfect from the foul line. He logged 49 minutes, 32 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
The Lakers Trevor Ariza and Paul Gasol scored 16 points each. They also contributed on the glass. Gasol pulled down ten and Ariza grabbed nine.
The Lakers Derek Fisher joined Bryant with a poor shooting. However, his two 3-pointers, one in the fourth and the other in overtime, were huge.
Down by three with just four seconds left in the game, Bryant drew the defense and then swung the ball to Fisher, who drained the 26-footer to tie the game at 87.
Four-and-a-half minutes later in overtime and the game tied at 91, Bryant again found Fisher for a 27-footer.
Fisher’s three was the start of an 8-0 run. All eight points would be the final eights points of the game.
Howard ended up with a monstrous night. He had 16 points, nine blocked shots, and 21 rebounds. However, Howard finished with seven turnovers and shot only 6-of-14 from the charity stripe.
In the fourth quarter and overtime ‘Superman’ was just three-of-eight from the foul line. He missed two foul shots with just 11 seconds left in the fourth. The Magic were up by three and needed just one free-throw to fall and possibly lead to a win and 2-2 series tied.
Instead, Howard missed; Fisher drained a three to keep the Lakers alive and eventually the win.
LA was down by 12 points at halftime, but by the end of the third they were up by four. It was their first lead of the game since they were up 5-4 with 8:53 in the first.
Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu continued his high-scoring in the playoffs, finishing with 25 on 8-of-13 from the field. Mickael Pietrus scored 15 points off the bench and forced Bryant into another poor shooting night.
But, Rashard Lewis was a complete no-show for Orlando. His only points came from two three’s. He finished just 2-of-10 from the field.
Much like the Boston Celtics and Ray Allen, the Magic need Lewis. If he is off, so is the Magic’s championship dream.