Finally, some buckets.
The NBA Finals took a postitive turn last night as the Orlando Magic scorched the nets for a 108-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the Magic dropping an insane 62.5% of their field goal attempts, the Lakers hung around all night with a pretty nice offensive night of their own.
Kobe Bryant's first quarter effort was jaw-droppingly special, as he dropped an array of contested jumpers. He had to work hard for the payoff, though and lost that touch during the fourth quarter comeback effort.
I loved seeing Courtney Lee bounce back to have a solid impact in Game 3. Lee and Mickael Pietrus combined to wear out Kobe. True Hoop offers up more thoughts on Lee tangling with Kobe. Great stuff. I knew CLee had moved past Game 2 when I jumped up from my seat after he threw down a vicious driving dunk in traffic. Forget the layups and floaters, it was the third quarter of a tight Game 3. Go strong or get ready to go home.
Seems like conventional wisdom to say that the Magic played about as well as they could possibly play, but only beat the Lakers by four, so they don't have a shot the rest of the way. Yes, the Magic played well, but so did the Lakers. Los Angeles was able to scrounge up 14 extra FGA compared to Orlando and they made over half of their shots which is better than they did in Game 1 and 2.
The Magic have become an enigmatic team depending on fluctuating production from Dwight Howard, Rafer Alson, the rookie Lee and Mickael Pietrus. Oh, and it's all orchestrated in apparent mayhem by Stan Van Gundy. The Magic have made a habit of perservering through earlier playoff setbacks, so who shows up and what happens in Game 4 on Thursday is anyone's guess, but it should be a blast to watch.
What stood out for you from last night's game?