After Game 3, I do! Finally, a fun game to watch filled with speed, scoring and suspense.
No team in history has ever come back from a 3-0 position in the Finals series. And in fact, the Lakers have a 38-1 series record when leading by 2-0 in the Finals. AND the last 27 of 30 teams up 2-0 in the finals have won. So, this win was crucial for the Magic. And they DELIVERED!!!
Five years ago the Magic had the worst record and team in NBA history. Then they got Dwight Howard and things started to change. For this game, they started to look like a team that deserved to be in the Finals. And they pulled out all the stops.
The game started with seven year old, Gina Marie, singing the National Anthem. The Magic are 6-0 at home when she sings and it looks like once again, she was their lucky charm.
Overall, Orlando kept the pace fast and even started to hit a couple of points off of their fast breaks. They came away at half time with a 5 point lead, and a total of 59 points (their highest score in all three games). They also had an impressive 75% shooting from the field.
Alston helped the cause enormously. He was 5 for 5 in 13 minutes and hit back to back three-pointers. He was making plays and looked confident. I think he jump started his team.
Howard was unbelievable and unstoppable. I am so impressed with his free throw shooting. He rocks them. Plus you just can't beat his alle-oop!!!
You know things are looking up when Lewis is considered the "off" player (4 of 7 shots at the half).
Kobe is the only reason the Magic weren't up more. The first half of the game Kobe was absolutely incredible. He was working the shot clock buzzer and hit amazing shots while being fouled. The announcers called him a "grown man playing with kids". Unfortunately, he sat on the bench for the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter while his team was down (I don't know why) and then came out and missed 5 free throws. Apparently with 29 pts and 8 assists in game 2, Kobe was not happy with his performance. If that was disappointing, I can't imagine he is feeling any better after this game.
I was holding my breath all of fourth quarter, seriously nervous that Kobe would catch on fire and close this game down. But he remained out of sync. Even with Odum's valiant rebounds and jumpers, the Magic ruled.
The only thing I didn't like was the delay at the end of the game with Kobe's last minute foul. It took away from the joy of the buzzer hitting zero. Props to Kobe for never giving up, but still, let the Magic have their moment.
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