NBA Roundtable

NBA Finals Game Four: Orlando vs Los Angeles

In 2009 NBA Finals, 2009 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on June 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Ariza Dribble Drive

Game Four

Lakers lead the series 2-1.

I’d absolutely love to see the Magic win this game and tie up the series. It would set up some much needed tension over the remainder of this series. So, I’m pulling hard for the Magic tonight.

First Quarter

Lakers lead 2-0 after 90 seconds

  • Rashard Lewis turns the ball over in the post, Lakers run out, to Gasol, tries to dunk the ball, Howard runs back and rams the shot back. Turnover.
  • Nice kickout to Courtney Lee for a wide open three pointer and the rookie drains it. Lovely pass from Howard off the dribble out of the post to set up the shot.
  • Lee does a good job defensively deflecting the ball out of bounds … inbounds to Fisher, 8 on the clock, has to take it, forces a contested mid range jumper off the dribble, hits it
  • Lovely ball movement from the Magic as the swing the ball around the perimeter, Lee gets a great look from the right corner, miss, Howard offensive rebound, putback, miss, putback, fouled. Howard splits a pair at the line to tie the game at four apiece after three minutes.
  • Kobe Bryant gets the hand off above the left elbow, drives left, pump fake, Lee jumps at it, foul on a jumper. Pietrus enters the game. Kobe was only 5-10 from the FT line in game three.
  • Rafer Alston dancing on Fisher as he brings the ball up and starts the offense, short pass to Hedo, pick and roll, Hedo goes away from the screen, right down the middle of the paint, to the rim, layup plus a foul.
  • Lamar Odom checks in for Bynum. That was his second foul. Hedo makes the FT.
  • Bryant above the right elbow, fakes the pass, one dribble, pull up J, Pietrus slow to react, miss.
  • Offensive rebound Howard, stripped by Bryant out of bounds. Fisher took a blow to the head, he’s on the ground, slow to get up, but he looks okay. Nice dribble penetration from Alston, missed the contested runner, offensive rebound Howard, Dwight fouled in the act of shooting but refs rule otherwise.
  • Odom closes out hard on Rafer Alston’s three pointer, foul. Oh sorry, foul not on the shot, off the ball prior to the shot. Gasol on Howard.
  • Howard called for a charge against Gasol. Turnover. 1st foul on Dwight. Flop by Gasol.
  • Gasol on the left post, faces up, drives baseline, layup, blocked, Odom beats everyone to the loose ball, layup
  • Hedo Turkoglu fakes the post pass, drives inside, wiggles his way into the paint and hits the layup.
  • Kobe Bryant posts up Pietrus, fadeaway out of the post, heavily contested, miss.
  • Rafer Alston dribbles along the baseline, kicks it out, runs out to the perimeter, his defender doesn’t follow him, short pass back to him, left wide open, drills the three.
  • Gasol in the low post, Rafer actively threatening to double team and helps turn Gasol off from going middle, Gasol goes baseline, pump fake, Howard semi-jumps at it, Gasol throws it out after creating nothing, missed shot.
  • Kobe Bryant on the left wing, blows by Pietrus, goes right, Hedo’s help was late at the FT line, Kobe snakes down the lane and hits the driving layup plus a foul. Kobe makes the FT.

Orlando lead 12-11 at the midway point in the first quarter

  • Odom gets right up on Turkoglu, about seven feet beyond the three point line in the middle of the court, silly foul. Touch foul. Timeout.
  • Dwight Howard gets the ball in the post, too late, only 4 seconds on the shot clock, turns middle, stripped out, shot clock violation. Turnover. How many turnovers do Orlando have? Feels like five or six already, feels like a lot.
  • Bryant misses a fadeaway from the left elbow extended.
  • Pietrus jumps up in the air in two minds, passes off, turnover … fastbreak LA, Odom to the rim, layup, miss
  • Rafer Alston dribbles upcourt and drops a three pointer. He has 5 points now.
  • Odom dribbling left, cuts back right, 17 footer from above the left elbow, miss, offensive rebound, Howard rejects the shot from behind … fastbreak, Alston to the rim, layup, no-call on the contact, could have been a foul.
  • Nice composure by Odom in the paint, took it to Howard’s body and took out the shot blocker, then laid it up.
  • Gasol picks up his second foul. Great deep position from Howard.

3:44 to play in the first quarter — Orlando lead 16-13

  • Phil Jackson takes Gasol out. DJ Mbenga checks in. Good opportunity here for Howard.
  • Dwight Howard has been brilliant so far — his defense has been excellent, and his rebounding has been magnificent. Offensively he’s not scoring, but he’s drawing a huge amount of attention and is helping to create opportunities for others.
  • Trevor Ariza takes a one dribble pull up going right, misses. Bad shot from Ariza. He shouldn’t be taking that.
  • Turkoglu fouled by Ariza on his dribble penetration. Lakers in the penalty, Turkoglu makes two.
  • Orlando lead 18-13 with three plus minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
  • Kobe Bryant pump faking, Pietrus looks a little off to the side, trying to get closer, Kobe senses it and drops the jumper, hits it. Good contest from Pietrus.
  • Lamar Odom just picked up his second foul — technical foul on Ariza after slamming the ball on the ground after the foul call.

Foul trouble causing some problems here for LA. Two minutes and forty eight seconds to play in the first.

  • JVG giving Dwight Howard some praise for how hard he’s playing tonight. “A dominating effort while only scoring 1 point … gasps … 11 rebounds! 3 blocks!”
  • Howard splits a pair at the line. Orlando lead 20-15.
  • Lakers get nothing going on that possession, contested three from Farmar off the right wing, miss, long rebound out of bounds.
  • Lakers show some full court pressure to slow down Orlando, they do so successfully. Rafer gets the ball upcourt at the 15 second mark, but doesn’t make a move until 9 seconds on the shot clock, pick and roll, Rafer drives, Walton helps out near the perimeter, Rafer forces the pass, to nobody, turnover. Sixth turnover for Orlando — I thought they might have more.
  • Turnovers are stopping Orlando form having a double digit lead right now.
  • Pietrus defending Bryant out on the perimeter, hand on the hip, Bryant sweeps the ball low and blows through’s Pietrus’ arm and draws the shooting foul. Bryant makes both.
  • Rafer showing some nice speed to get the ball upcourt quicker this time … good … passes up top to Hedo, top of the key, drives left, down the left of the lane, fadeaway on the run, hits it.
  • Tony Battie fouls Walton on the pass … dumb foul … Walton gets two free FTs, hits one.
  • Alston snakes into the paint and throws up the teardrop from 10 feet in the middle of the paint, hits it
  • Josh Powell called for a travel, turnover. Powell and Mbenga are the big men.
  • DJ Mbenga with a monster block on Rafer’s runner, Walton saves it from going out of bounds.
  • Redick matched up with Bryant, he faces him up, drops the 23 footer over him. Kobe made that look easy.
  • Redick misses a three at the buzzer

End of one
Howard Rips Down Another Rebound
Second Quarter

Orlando lead 24-20

  • Jameer Nelson knocks down a driving layup
  • Tony Battie gives away another stupid foul on Luke Walton — these silly fouls, and those turnovers, are stopping Orlando from pulling away. Are they going to regret this? It looks very likely.
  • Howard called for a three second violation, turnover. Great low position, terrible job by the perimeter players not seeing him in the middle of the paint with Gasol sealed, two feet from the rim and waiting for an easy layup. Great effort from Dwight. His teammates fault.
  • Redick knocks down a long jumper out of the corner
  • Powell rises up from 15 feet, at the FT line, over Battie, miss, rebound Howard
  • Lewis misses a three pointer from the left wing, rebound Gasol, quick outlet, Lakers do a weak job in transition, but Gasol hits the 17 footer after trailing the play.
  • Redick beats Vujacic off the dribble, again, nice bounce pass out to Battie, Battie hits the 19 footer from the top of the key.
  • Farmar misses a wide open three pointer after a nice fake.

Timeout — Three minutes gone — Orlando lead 30-24

Orlando should be disappointed at their inability to build a double digit lead. They’ve completely outplayed the Lakers only to fail due to their mental lapses, and have gotten LA’s 2nd/3rd/4th best players all in foul trouble. Bad sign for Orlando.

That said, the Lakers need to start building some monentum to their play. They lack some fluidity right now. But, this, this is likely to happen.

  • Hedo Turkoglu on the right wing, goes left, to the FT line, jumps right through the defender, shows great balance to square up to the rim and hit the running jumper.
  • Gasol goes right at Gortat, scores at the rim.
  • Pick and roll with Gortat, ball reversed, Lewis with a lovely bullet pass to Gortat for the slam dunk!
  • Walton beats Hedo off the dribble, to the rim, fouled by Hedo — crap defense from Hedo — The Magic are turning off when Walton has the ball, lack of focus from Orlando. Stupid foul.
  • Rashard Lewis bags a three pointer over Lamar Odom from the left wing. 10 point lead.
  • Gasol misse a tough contested turnaround from 14 feet, loose rebound, Hedo dives on the floor, ball squirms to Gortat, outlet pass, turnover. Terrible pass.
  • Orlando’s 8th turnover, Lakers only have 1 — this should be a 15+ point lead for Orlando. Stupid mistakes are hurting them.
  • Redick left wide open, 18 footer, misses, Kobe Bryant hustles, rips the rebound away from an Orlando player … passes ahead, quick post up for Gasol, goes baseline, spins back, hits the short shot.
  • Gasol alters Nelson’s driving layup, forces a miss. Ball out of bounds, Orlando ball. Hedo misses a baseline J, rebound Odom … he goes coast to coast, lefty layup, misses, rebound Gortat.
  • Hedo Turkoglu has Odom on him at the top of the key, calls for a clearout, dribbles in, jabs, step back J, pump fake, Odom steps in, Hedo draws the foul — Odom can’t move into the body like that.

Timeout — 38-29 Magic, after Hedo splits a pair, at the midway point in the second quarter

  • Bynum posts up on the left block, hits a short shot.
  • Good trap by Bynum on the pick and roll … gets back well, pick and roll again, lovely pass by Redick to Gortat for the slam dunk
  • Jameer Nelson strips Gasol down low, but Hedo can’t keep it in play. Lakers turn it over on the baseline inbounds pass …. fastbreak, Redick ahead of the pack, hesitates because of Bynum’s presence, slips, falls over, passes it back to nobody in particular, loose ball finds Hedo, layup.
  • Gasol draws a foul in the paint — Gasol splits a pair at the stripe
  • Technical foul on the Lakers bench — Redick hits the tech

Orlando lead 43-32 with under four and a half minutes to play

  • Hedo Turkoglu drive and kick off the pick and roll, Alston three pointer on the left wing, misses it. Kobe Bryant knocks down a triple in transition — Redick’s fault, he left him open, got too deep inside the paint and was late closing out.
  • Ariza has it on the left wing, to Kobe at the top of the key, 20 feet out, Pietrus is right there, Kobe shoots it, contested shot, miss.
  • Lewis shoots a three pointer, misses, Howard pulls down another rebound — his 14th rebound
  • Hedo Turkoglu drive and kick to Pietrus on the right wing, misses, air ball, right to Howard. Pietrus’ defender may have gotten a piece of that, I think it was Bryant, the defender.
  • Timeout — 2:46 to play in the first half
  • Howard misses the first free throw, misses the second one. Lane violation, Lakers ball.
  • Illegal screen on Josh Powell — turnover.
  • Dwight Howard posting up inside, on the left block, looks to go center, turns baseline, left hand jump hook over Gasol, hits it.
  • Bryant misses a long jumper, rebound Orlando. Foul on Fisher for fouling Howard on his way into the paint.

10 point game — two minutes to play

  • Dwight Howard on the left post, drives middle, rolling hook over Gasol, hits it! 12 point game.
  • Josh Powell shows great composure to knock down the 19 footer along the baseline — bad close out from Turkoglu
  • Howard goes right at Gasol, a little out of control, throws it out, nice pump fake by Pietrus, loses Bryant, goes up, too slow, Bryant gets back in the play and blocks the shot — turnover, 24 second violation.
  • Dwight Howard with great hands, ties up Ariza on his dribble penetration … jump ball … Orlando wins it, breakout, great long tip by Howard out to Pietrus ahead of the pack, Pietrus to the rim, Fisher slaps at it, foul, Pietrus will shoot two and make two.

12 point game with 50 seconds to play

  • Bryant takes a quick three off the hand off, miss, loose ball foul on Turkoglu for holding Ariza on the offensive glass.
  • Timeout — 39 seconds to play
  • Hedo takes a seat after that foul. SVG trying to avoid a third here.
  • Derek Fisher goes for the two for one opportunity with the quick three pointer, miss
  • Dwight Howard misses the short shot, out of bounds, Magic ball.
  • 8 seconds — ball deflected out of bounds. Still Orlando ball.
  • 4 seconds — sideline inbounds, Pietrus passes it into Alston, dribbles in from a Dwight pick, three pointer, miss


Some Stats and Notes

  • The Lakers have only 21 points outside of Kobe Bryant. Pau has 7, Odom and Walton have four apiece, and three others have one bucket to their names.
  • The Lakers offense has shot only 33.3% from the field, 1-10 from downtown, and 8-11 from downtown. They have only 5 assists on 14 baskets. Their eFG% is just 34.5%.
  • Dwight Howard has equalled the entire Lakers team on the backboards 14-14. Orlando are outrebounding LA by 8.
  • Orlando have taken five less shots, five more FTs though, largely due to the turnovers. They’ve shot 48% from the field, 3-12 from downtown, and 10-16 from the FT line. Howard has five of those misses, he’s only 2-7 from the stripe. The Magic have 9 dimes on 18 buckets.
  • The Magic are only charged for 7 turnovers on ESPN, but that figure is low, more like 9 or 10. Lakers have only three turnovers which sounds about right.
  • Hedo Turkoglu is leading the Magic in scoring with 15 points, Rafer has 9, Dwight has 6, Gortat has four, three others have three points, and three others have two points. All ten of Orlando’s players who have played have scored.
  • All 12 of LA’s players have played

Orlando should be very happy with their first half performance … but that 12 point lead does look vulnerable, their numerous mistakes have kept the game within reach for LA. One short run (say, 6-0 Lakers) and suddenly this is a very tight game.

Orlando need to try and pull away here in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter.

Third Quarter

Orlando lead 49-37

  • Rafer Alston uses his body well to protect his lefty layup, nicely done, misses though. Good drive.
  • Rafer over-helps off of Fisher, Fish knocks down a long J
  • Lovely pass by Hedo Turkoglu to Dwight Howard for a slam dunk off the pick and roll
  • Rashard Lewis fighting hard for post position with Gasol, pass inside, Lewis deflects it … fastbreak Orlando, Lee into the paint, Bryant rips it away and draws a quick foul from Hedo to stop the fastbreak
  • Turkoglu has to be careful now, that was his third foul
  • Howard gets a piece of Bynum’s baseline jump shot, air ball, block. Good effort.
  • Rashard Lewis in the low post, against Bryant, tries to draw the foul, not on, goes glass, misses, Dwight wins the offensive rebound, tapped loose out of bounds.
  • Ariza playing the passing lanes, deflects it out, breakaway, slam dunk!
  • Dwight Howard posts up Bynum, shoulder fake left, goes right, Bynum stays with him, running hook, well contested, miss
  • Bryant drops a three pointer

Orlando need a jolt of energy. A little slow to the ball, and slow offensively, to start the third quarter. Pietrus checks in to stop Bryant from heating up.

  • Courtney Lee makes one of two free throws
  • Ariza with the pump fake, Hedo over commits, Ariza takes it hard to the rim, nice running layup. 6 point game.
  • Hedo Turkoglu dribbles left, picks it up, looks for the pass, not on, has to force a tough fallaway out of rhythm, hits it from 20 feet
  • Bryant on the high post on the right wing, Hedo doubles, Ariza moves to his comfort spot, Ariza knocks down the three pointer.

54-49 Orlando lead with 8 minutes to play — that lead is down to five now. Orlando left themselves vulnerable through all of those mistakes in the first half.

  • Kobe Bryant on Hedo Turkoglu — “He’s crafty”, he knows how to use his body, has a dribble, good player, I like him.
  • Alston front irons a three pointer from the left wing
  • Lakers on a 10-3 run over the last 2:15
  • Good box out from Lewis to keep the ball away from Gasol … fastbreak, Alston drives it inside and throws the ball away … fastbreak the other way, Ariza to the rim, Hedo fouls him. That’s four.
  • Redick checks in for Hedo

There’s a huge amount of time left in this quarter. That foul could kill Orlando’s hopes of winning this game. Watch these next 7 minutes very closely.

Orlando lead 54-50 with 7 minutes left

  • Redick’s jumper goes in and out
  • Nice ball movement, Kobe kicks it out from the double, Pau makes the extra pass, Trevor Ariza from the left corner, takes a three pointer, hits it — 11 points in five plus minutes from Ariza to start the third quarter
  • One point game
  • Kobe Bryant at the top of the key, pick from Pau, Kobe spins away from it, his defender falls over, he dribbles to the arc, passes to Ariza, head fake, defender falls for it, drives inside, forces the extra pass instead of the easy finish, tougher finish for Bynum but he’s bailed by a foul. Bynum makes both and LA leads by 1.
  • That’s LA’s first lead since 8-7 early in the first quarter.

An 18-5 run from LA to start the quarter

  • Fisher strips Lewis inside, out of bounds off Fisher I think, but refs rule it for LA.
  • Bryant misses a long pull up jumper, he’s only 6-16 from the field tonight.
  • Redick to Alston, Alston pump fakes, goes inside, takes the teardrop over Bynum, hits it!
  • Andrew Bynum with the soft touch from 10 feet, hits it.
  • Alston throws a terrible lob pass, Bynum goes and gets it, Howard steals it from him, better effort from Howard, loose ball foul on Bynum. That’s number four on Bynum, he has managed only 12 minutes.
  • Howard posts up Gasol … ball spills loose, Fisher dives on it, wins it, calls a timeout to avoid being tied up.
  • Defensive three seconds on Orlando, Bryant hits it.

Lakers lead 58-56 with 4:30 to play in the third

  • Fisher misses a good look from downtown in the right corner
  • A whistle away from the ball, three second violation on Dwight. Great job by LA helping on Rashard Lewis in the mid-high post against Bryant, to stop him taking advantage, great rotations back to their man too.
  • Turnover, fastbreak Orlando, Pietrus to Rafer, back to Pietrus, layup
  • Gasol posts up on the left block, draws a double, passes out to Fisher, miss, rebound Orlando.
  • Alston gets to the bucket, lefty layup, misses, Gasol rebounds, outlet … fastbreak, Fisher to the rim, knocked out of bounds off Lewis.
  • Lamar Odom knocks down a three pointer from the top of the key — largest lead of the night for LA, a whole three points!
  • Rafer Alston on the pick and roll, to the basket, right handed running hook, miss, rebound Orlando, kicks it out to Redick, pass fake, steps into a three pointer, hits it, ties up the game.
  • Redick on the fastbreak, pump fakes, Odom half bites, Redick tries to draw a foul, doesn’t get it, fastbreak LA … Ariza layup. Orlando don’t run back.
  • Dwight Howard reverse layup inside, miss … Howard snares it, Bryant steals the rebound on the way down, Kobe reacts angrily … foul on Howard, loose ball foul from behind. Lakers are in the penalty, dumb foul.
  • Bryant makes two FTs.

Lakers lead 65-61 with 90 seconds to go

  • Howard finds the cutter out of the left post, slam dunk Pietrus. He has 6 points on 2-4 shooting.
  • Lakers lead 28-14 in scoring this quarter
  • Bryant misses a three pointer, Gasol gets the high offensive board … after some passes, Odom takes a three pointer from the left wing, miss, rebound Howard
  • Nelson falls down, turnover … fastbreak Lakers, Fisher running the show, Lewis comes up from behind and slaps it out of bounds. Good effort from Lewis to chase down Fisher.
  • Orlando have 16 turnovers, compared to only 5 for LA.
  • Bryant holds it for the final shot of the quarter, he works on Pietrus, dribble drive left, behind the back, goes back right, pump fake, Pietrus contests well, Bryant drains it!
  • Nelson runs up quickly, a few seconds left on the clock, doesn’t get off the shot.
  • Nelson looked poor at the end of the quarter.

The Magic were ahead by four when Hedo sat down, and are now behind by three points. A seven point swing over seven minutes. I think they should be reasonably happy with that, it could have been a lot worse. It wasn’t really the turning point, that happened before Hedo went out.

Fourth Quarter

Lakers lead 67-63 — all those Magic miscues came back to bite them in the ass

  • First pass of the half over to Bryant on the right wing, immeditae lob pass from Bryant to Odom, layup. Too easy.
  • Gasol looking to work on Howard, doubled, to Fisher, good defense by Nelson, bad pass, Gasol air balls a jumper against the shot clock. Turnover.
  • Pietrus working over on the right wing, takes it hard to the rim, lot of contact, draws the foul on his runner — Pietrus hit Gasol in the face on the way back down, Gasol fouled him too — Pietrus makes both. Four point game.

Lakers lead 69-65 with 10:40 to play in the game

  • Odom brings it up again, over to Kobe on the right wing again, to Pau at the high post, over to Odom on the left wing, he drives baseline, to the rim, throws it out to Fisher on the right sideline, Fisher pump fakes, goes left, to the rim, layup.
  • Turkoglu pick and roll with Battie, Odom switches, Hedo dribbles out to the left wing, pump fakes, Odom bites, foul. Three FTs, two made.
  • Bryant doubled hard, tries to find the pass, Pietrus steals it, fastbreak, Pietrus to the rim, slips at the final moment and misses the layup, loose rebound, both teams fight for it, out of bounds off Orlando. Good job by Ariza to run down Pietrus.
  • Gasol bricks a jump shot, way off the mark.
  • Offensive foul by Dwight Howard, using the off arm in the post. Elbow to the chest. Frustration?
  • 8 points versus 6 turnovers for Howard.
  • Dwight’s fourth foul too.
  • Loose ball foul on Lamar Odom — his fifth — on the other end.

Timeout — Lakers lead 71-67 with 9:15 to play

  • Nelson is still in the game. I don’t like this, get him out of there.
  • Hedo passes it low into Howard, left block, turns middle, stripped, Bryant wins the loose ball, turnover. Howard’s 7th, Orlando’s 18th, turnover.
  • Luke Walton gets a bucket. 6 point game.
  • Good extra pass swung to Pietrus in the left corner, he drains the triple.
  • Oh my goodness … Kobe Bryant nails a three pointer from the left wing with Pietrus all over him, nothing was on for Bryant, talk about a bail out shot.
  • Pietrus in the left corner again, drives baseline, hard foul from Bynum, tough fall. Fifth foul on Bynum. Pietrus makes one of two.

7 minutes to play — Lakers lead 75-71

  • Orlando have missed 9 of 25 free throws. They’re shooting only 64% from the line.
  • Nice quick pass from Hedo to Lewis out on the perimeter off the pick and roll, inside to Howard, fouled inside. Howard makes the first, makes the second.
  • Two point game with 6:40 to play
  • Bryant short on the contested jumper off the dribble from the right wing, rebound Orlando.
  • Bynum slaps the ball loose from Hedo, but Orlando come up with it. Hedo another pick and roll, gets the switch, Gasol on him, dribbles left, pulls up from 20 feet top of the key, back iron.
  • Gasol drives on Lewis, right side of the lane, spins left towards the middle, short shot missed … rebound Howard, outlet to Pietrus, he’s in a race with Bryant, goes hard to the rim, fouled by Bryant softly, tough angle, Pietrus manages to hit the layup and get the foul.

Timeout — 5:40 to play — Orlando lead 76-75 after Pietrus hits the FT

  • Orlando on a 6-0 run over the last 100 seconds
  • Bryant beats Pietrus off the dribble, to the rim, layup, miss … offensive rebound, Odom dribble penetration, to Gasol, short hook shot, Howard goaltends.
  • Foul off the ball, Ariza fouls Hedo. His second … but LA is in the penalty.
  • Hedo line drives the first one, misses badly, misses the second.
  • Orlando have not committed a team foul yet

Five minutes to play — Lakers lead 77-76

  • Kobe Bryant at the top of the key, drives left, spins back right, tough jumper from 17 feet, hits it!
  • Nelson still in the game, Nelson works his way inside, drive and dump to Howard, slam dunk
  • Bryant fakes the pass, gets the step on Pietrus, into the paint, Hedo with the help defense, blocks the shot … fastbreak, Jameer in transition, drive and kick, open three pointer, miss
  • Gasol in the low post, Pietrus doubles off of Kobe, wide open three pointer from the top of the key, miss — I don’t like seeing Kobe getting an open look there.
  • Hedo Turkoglu takes it hard to the rim, draws a foul, he’ll shoot two. Hedo gets them one to go this time.

Tie game 79-79 with 3:20 to play

  • Orlando have now missed 12 of 31 free throws
  • Great deflection, either Howard or Lewis on Fisher’s drive and lob to Gasol …. fastbreak, back to Nelson, lovely pass inside to Howard who beat Gasol up the floor, fouled, Howard muscles through the finish and hits it.

Jameer Nelson has been excellent over the last 2-3 minutes. He’s made a couple of excellent plays.

It’s almost too late in the game to make a substitution, the intensity and pace is too high, very difficult for a point guard to find his place in this situation. I think Jameer needs to play the rest of the way … but it’ll be very interesting to see how his legs hold up down the stretch. Hopefully, the adrenaline will see him through this.

Orlando leads 81-79 with three minutes to play

  • Dwight Howard completes the three point play, Orlando up 3
  • Dwight Howard has 8 blocks — a Finals record
  • Kobe Bryant drives to the basket, throws it in traffic, deflected … loose ball out to LA, Ariza isn’t looking at the clock, final moment, he hoists a long three, no contest, hits it!
  • Hedo Turkoglu on the left wing, dribbling, step back three, drains it!
  • Pau Gasol on the left post, backing down Howard, spins baseline, blocked by Howard!
  • Pick and rol, creates some space, drive and kick to Pietrus in the corner, defense collapses out, Hedo pops out to the left wing, Pietrus makes the short pass, Hedo has the three pointer, Ariza closes out, pump fakes it, drives left, beats him, runner, hits it!

Timeout — 94 seconds to play — Orlando lead 87-82

  • Lakers ball as we come back
  • Bryant brings the ball upcourt, high pick and roll, Pietrus’ shin deflects the ball, Bryant has to go into the backcourt to retrieve it, 8 seconds on the shot clock, dribble drive, blows by Pietrus, Nelson tries to get in place for a charge, blocking foul, good call.
  • First foul in the last two minutes.
  • Sideline inbounds, pin down for Bryant, right wing, Pietrus up on him, Bryant takes it, misses the long three pointer, long rebound, Pietrus beats Odom to the ball.
  • Final minute — Hedo high pick and roll, finds Lewis, pump fake, one dribble inside, leaner, misses … fastbreak Lakers, Bryant races up the right wing, spins through two or three defenders and finds the trailor Gasol for the slam dunk
  • 31 seconds — Jameer Nelson gets it to Hedo, pick and roll, lob pass inside to Howard, hammered inside. Great foul by Bryant, stopped Howard from getting an attempt up at the rim.

11.1 seconds to play — 87-84 Orlando lead

  • Dwight Howard misses the first one
  • Dwight Howard takes the second one, high bounce, two bounces, misses … rebound Ariza.

Timeout LA — 10.4 seconds remaining — 87-84 Magic lead

  • Full court pressure from Orlando, into Bryant, doubled, ahead to Ariza, over to Fisher, Fisher dribbles up the right wing, takes a three pointer from the right wing and nails it!
  • JVG — “What is Nelson thinking Fisher is going to do?” Get up on him and contest it. “What are you doing behind the three point line?”

Timeout Orlando — 4.6 seconds to play — 87-87 Tie game

  • Hedo Turkoglu inbounds the ball, Odom on Lewis,  Hedo can’t find the pass, calls another timeout.
  • A 20 second timeout
  • Hedo and Lewis have a few quick words about what happened there. SVG brings everyone in and writes up a play.
  • Orlando still have one timeout left so Hedo can call another one
  • Hedo inbounds it to Pietrus at the top of the key, Hedo comes up for the hand off, two Lakers go towards him, Pietrus dribbles into the three point line, takes it from the left wing, rushes a little bit, misses it


The score is 87-87.

  • Howard wins the tip, to Nelson — Watch his legs and decision making. See how he holds up here.
  • Good defense by the Lakers on that first possession, forced a contested three from the corner, trapped, against the shot clock, and Lewis hits it — only his second field goal of the night
  • Kobe Bryant pull up jumper from 16-17 feet and drills it. He has 30 points on 10-27 shooting tonight.
  • Great entry pass by Lewis, Howard off balance, misses the contested layup.
  • Bryant faces up Pietrus, right wing, one dribble right, pulls up from 23 feet with Pietrus in his face, Bryant hits it!
  • Hedo Turkoglu pick and roll, reverses the ball, nothing on, back to Hedo, Lewis comes over to set a pick, slips the screen, Hedo passes over the top, deflected, turnover.
  • Bryant drives right, off balance, fadeaway, misses.
  • Great pass by Hedo inside to Howard deep in the paint, knocked loose … Orlando hang onto it … Lewis from the left wing, drives inside, bank shot on the runner, miss. Both teams wanted a foul there.
  • Bryant on the left wing, dribbles right, pulls up from 24 feet, top of the key, air ball. Pietrus got a piece of it (oops, he hit Bryant’s hand, not the ball), not called.

1:50 to play — Lakers up 91-90

  • Pick and roll, Hedo passes over the top to Howard rolling to the rim, Howard has to take it down, fouled. First team foul.
  • Rashard to Hedo, clearout against Odom, to the rim, right wing, right dribble penetration, high off glass, miss, loose ball foul on Fisher on the rebound for a shove on Howard (harsh?)
  • Howard back irons the first one, takes the second one, swishes it

1:27 to play — Tie game at 91

  • Fisher brings it up, to Ariza, hand off to Kobe above the three point line on the left wing/top of the key, he attacks Pietrus, drive and kick to the right corner, calls for it back in the post, gets it, passes out to Ariza at the top of the key, he knifes down the lane, runner, misses it, chases down his rebound, throws it out, timeout.

1:01 to play — still Lakers ball

  • Inbounds to Kobe, he dribbles in, pick and roll with Odom, not on, misses the pass to Odom, another pick and roll, Kobe not giving up that ball, he drives left, fallaway, misses … loose ball foul on Nelson trying to keep Gasol off the glass
  • 46 seconds to play — Kobe isolation on the right wing, right elbow extended, tries to back in Pietrus, Nelson doubles, Kobe kicks it out, Kobe runs over Nelson on the pass, out to Fisher, Fisher nails a three pointer!

31 seconds to play — Lakers lead 94-91

  • Lewis inbounds the ball, to Hedo, pick and roll, three pointer, miss, Lewis tips it out, Gasol is the only one there, spills into the backcourt, clear path to the rim, easy dunk for Pau Gasol

Timeout — 21.6 seconds to play — Lakers lead 96-91

  • This is over
  • Hedo inbounds the ball, can’t get Lewis or Pietrus the ball, in to Howard, back to Hedo, shot not on, Gasol switches onto him, up into him, his length is right there, Hedo takes the three pointer, misses it … rebound LA, pass ahead, Ariza on the right wing, one defender back, Gasol to the hoop, lobs it in, slam dunk! Plus a foul!
  • Gasol unhappy with the foul, and lets Pietrus know about it
  • Flagrant foul on Pietrus, JVG thinks, he’s right. The replay is bad, Pietrus just slammed in the back, made no attempt on the ball. Gasol deserved a tech for his reaction too.
  • Flagrant is called on Pietrus, and a tech is on Gasol.

Great stat — Fisher is 2-7 from downtown tonight — how big where those two shots? Massive makes from Fisher.

Final score — 99-91 Lakers

Final Thoughts

Lakers are now up 3-1 in the series. They have a great chance at ending this series in game five, if not, it’s hard to see this series going past game six.

The Orlando Magic deserved to be punished for all their miscues, their bad turnovers and their missed free throws. They gave this game away. Bad loss.

  1. Dave,

    I think you meant to say Game Six, rather than Game Seven.

    The Lakers only turned the ball over 7 times tonight and did a much better job on the boards in the 4th quarter with the game on the line.


    Yes, Orlando played poorly but the Lakers still had to play well enough to win this game … coming back twice from substantial deficits, i.e. 1. Down 12, in the 4th, on the road. 2. In the final minute of regulation time, after Turk nailed that monster step-back 3.

    Both of those were situations where a lesser team might have lost their concentration and cracked. LA did not.

    Many thought that Derek Fisher would get out-played in this series. I did not.

    Basketball is a game of individual and collective match-ups and D-Fish is a solid fit vs Alston, Johnson and Nelson. When the ZenMaster has the horses for the course … he rarely makes a stumble, and his loyalty to players like Fish pays handsome dividends.

    Unfortunately, teams that are not ready to win yet … can, sometimes, give important games away.

  2. Ah, good catch, thanks Khandor. Fixed — Game Six, not game seven.

    The Lakers played well last night. Nothing special. They would have lost had Orlando kept their horses together — this is where they miss Jameer Nelson.

    Question ….

    Orlando could easily be up 3-1 in this series.

    Do you think Orlando would be winning this series if Jameer Nelson was fully healthy? Or do you think the Lakers still find a way to take control of this series?

    I think the Magic would be winning this series with a healthy Jameer Nelson.

  3. Dave,

    Last year belonged to the Celtics … because Boston was the best team in the NBA … Ubuntu! … when the Lakers were minus Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm and a 100% healthy Trevor Ariza.

    This year, on the other hand, belongs to the Lakers … because Los Angeles is the best team in the NBA … even without Ronny Turiaf [Josh Powell], Vladimir Radmanovic [Shannon Brown & Adam Morrison], and Chris Mihm [Sun Yue], provided they have Andrew Bynum and a 100% healthy Trevor Ariza, etc.

    This is a tremendous learning experience for the Orlando Magic … but, IMO, it is folly to think that their team, at this stage of their development, is capable of winning this series vs THIS collection of Lakers, led by Black Mamba, going for Ring #4, and coached by Big Chief Triangle, going for RING #10.

    With or without Jameer Nelson is irrelevant.

    IMO, the only thing that was capable of stopping the Lakers from winning the championship this season … was themselves [i.e. injuries, possible bad trades, and internal dissension], as I outlined last May [2008].

    Some things are just meant to happen. 🙂

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