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  • Jun
    15

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    The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orland Magic 99-86 on Sunday night to capture the 2009 NBA Title.  Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists and was named the NBA Finals MVP.  Bryant also had 2 steals and 4 blocked shots in an all-around great night.  The Lakers used a 30-18 edge in the 2nd quarter to pull away for good.  The Lakers increased the 10-point halftime lead to 76-61 by the end of the 3rd quarter and the rest was history.

    It was a full team effort from the Lakers in the win.  Pau Gasol chipped in 14 points and 15 rebounds.  Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 5 rebounds and had 2 big three pointers in the 2nd quarter to help extend the Lakers lead.  Lamar Odom had another great game off the bench – 17 points and 10 rebounds.  And Derrek Fisher had a consistent game – 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.  Most importantly, they never let Dwight Howard or the Magic get into a good rhythm at any point during the game.

    Howard finished the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds – both low numbers for Howard during the series.  Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Hedu Turkoglu chipped in 12 points but only 2 rebounds.

    The Lakers win put Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson into new levels in NBA history.  For Kobe, it was his 4th title, but 1st on his own without another “true” superstar.  Bryant won his 1st 3 titles with Shaquille O’Neal, and by winning this one “on his won”, he sets asides critics who claimed that he couldn’t win a championship where he had to be the leader on his team.

    For Phil Jackson, it was his 10th NBA Championship as a head coach, passing Celtics legend Red Auerbach on the all-time list.  Pat Riley is the next best coach with 5 championships.  Jackson won 6 championships as head coach of the Chicago Bulls teams led by Michael Jordan.  As the head coach of the Lakers, Jackson has taken Lakers teams to the NBA finals 6 times, and has now won 4 of them.   Especially in this day and age, it is harder and harder to keep teams together and manage the egos that go hand-in-hand with the multi-million dollar super stars in the league.  Jackson has found a way to manage that and earn the respect of his players throughout the long NBA grind.  Kobe Bryant may have said it best:  “He coaches unity and chemistry and togetherness.”

    With a nice young nucleus – Kobe, Odom, Gasol, Ariza and Bynum – the Lakers could turn this into an annual thing again with Jackson at the helm.  Guess we’ll have to see how it all shakes out next year, but for now, congratulations Phil and Kobe – you deserve it.

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    NBA Finals Lakers Magic Basketball

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  • Jun
    12

    NBA Finals Lakers Magic Basketball

    The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 99-91 in overtime on Friday night in Orlando to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals.  Derek Fisher was the unsing hero for the Lakers, as he banged down a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 87 and send it into overtime.  With the game tied in overtime Fisher nailed another 3-pointer to put the Lakers up for good.  Only 2 players in NBA history have more 3-pointers in the NBA Finals – Robert Horry and Michael Jordan – pretty nice company (Jordan has 6 rings and Horry has 7 rings).

    The Lakers overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to win Game 4, outscoring the Magic 30-14 in the 3rd quarter to take a 4 point lead to start the 4th.  The Lakers are now 7-0 in games following losses in the playoffs in 2009.  The only way the Lakers will be denied a championship is if they lose 3 straight games to the Magic – they haven’t lost 3 games in a row all year long.

    Kobe Bryant had another impressive night – 32 points (despite making only 11 of 31 shots), 7 rebounds and 8 assists.  Bryant was 8 out of 8 from the free throw line, as the Lakers made 15 of 20 free throw attempts (back to that later).  Pau Gasol (16 points and 10 boards) and Trevor Ariza (16 points and 9 boards) were also instrumental in the win with their big nights.

    For the Magic, Dwight Howard starred in just about every way.  Howard had 16 points, 21 rebounds and 9 blocked shots.  But he turned the ball over 7 times and missed more free throws than he made – he was 6-14 from the charity stripe.  That was the Magic’s main downfall – they shot only 59.5% from the free throw line, missing 15 of their 37 attempts from the line.  Any one of those shots gets made, we’re looking at a series tied at 2 with a pivotal Game 5 Sunday night in Orlando.  Instead, the Magic now have their backs against the wall.

    Random note, Tiger Woods and his wife Elin were in attendance, as was singer Rihanna.

    Stay tuned for great NBA action on Sunday on ABC.  Game 5 is scheduled to start at 8PM EST in Orlando.

    NBA Finals Lakers Magic Basketball

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    NBA Finals Lakers Magic Basketball

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