June 12, 2009

Lakers Clutch in OT Game 4 Win

What a game!

If you're a Los Angeles Lakers fan, you would've had two cardiac arrests by the time the final buzzer sounded. Add Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals to the library of clutch Lakers playoff performances.

The game started with the Magic dominating both ends of the court-- Dwight Howard was feasting on weak inside play from the Lakers bigs, and the Magic was executing the offense crisply. The Lakers didn't do themselves a favor by getting into foul trouble early on and scoring a paltry total of 14 points in the second quarter.

But things started to look up after the halftime break.

Trevor Ariza, known more for his defensive lock-down skills, exploded for 13 points in the third quarter and scored 9 straight in a 2-minute stretch that sliced the Orlando lead to one point. The tide turned like an upheaval for the Lakers as they outscored the Magic 30-14 in the third and came into the fourth quarter leading by a slim margin.

The fourth quarter was like a boxing match between two heavy weights slugging it out-- I was waiting for that big uppercut that will put the other one away. It looked like the Magic was able to deliver the killer blows with a three-ball and a short from Hedo Turkoglu. The Magic were up by 5 with a minute and a half left and the Lakers looked like their 2-1 lead would be evened after the game.

But fate, like the Los Angeles Lakers, had a different idea: Kobe Bryant passed to Pau Gasol a minute later to cut the lead to three points. The Magic had a chance to seal the door shut when their superstar Dwight Howard was fouled had two free throws. On both occasions, he missed. (I can feel the collective memories of the Orlando Magic fans hark back 14 years ago when Nick Anderson missed four free throws that could have won them the game. Howard's misses are truly made of those heartbreaking things.)

The Lakers inbounded and Kobe passed to Trevor Ariza, who then shuttled the ball to Derek Fisher. Fisher took a couple of dribbles and shot over the outstretched arm of Jameer Nelson. Swish. Game tied. Heart attack-inducing Moment #1.

The Magic's inexperience showed when instead of drawing a foul (the Lakers were in the penalty), an ill-advised jump shot was taken in the final four seconds of the game. The game went into overtime and it seems the momentum has shifted again to the Lakers' side.

A quick three by the Magic's Rashard Lewis kicked the extra period off, but that would be the the teams only field goal in overtime. Kobe Bryant kept it close with two jumpers, and a Dwight Howard free throw tied the game with a minute left. Thirty seconds would be the time when both teams would remain to be tied as Derek Fisher hit a huge three-pointer at the top of the arc. The Magic fans went silent. Heart attack-inducing Moment #2.

Gasol would hit two slam dunks and a free throw to set the final score but the game practically ended with that Fisher 3.

The Lakers are now one win away from the NBA championship.



  1. Hey! Its celebration time as my favorite Lakers have won again. I went for the game that they lost and I got really disappointed. But now I am cloud nine. Now I am sure that Lakers will ruin the Magic on next game. They will be the championships. I mean it and I am sooooo happy.

  2. I got really discouraged twice in the game but when I saw Ariza leading the way for a comeback I knew we would have another photo finish game.

    What about that Derek Ficher that had been acused of not helping the offensive side.

    We are close, very, very close

  3. i almost died. haha -mayee



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