Random thought: At what point would Chick Hearn put this one in the refrigerator? Let’s go with 8:19 remaining, when Bryant hit a 3-pointer to push the Lakers’ lead to 83-67. The period turned into a victory march as the Lakers avenged last year’s Boston debacle.
LAKERS 99, ORLANDO 86
Orlando came out with some expected post-halftime energy, and started with a 7-2 run to pull within 58-53, but Lamar Odom hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to start a 13-2 run. That put the Lakers up 71-55 and within 12 minutes of a championship.
LAKERS 76, ORLANDO 61
The Lakers trailed by five when Kobe Bryant drove the baseline and violently threw down a one-handed dunk. Two minutes later, the Lakers started a 16-0 run — Trevor Ariza scored seven of them — and built a 52-40 lead with three minutes remaining in the quarter.
LAKERS 56, ORLANDO 46
With a chance to close out a title, the Lakers decided to…feed Andrew Bynum? Bynum missed badly on his first six shots, which allowed the Magic to get out and run. Orlando took a 15-6 lead after five minutes but the Lakers absorbed the blow and kept it close.
ORLANDO 28, LAKERS 26
What else but another Derek Fisher miracle? With the Magic leading 87-84, Dwight Howard missed two free throws. The Lakers drove the court, and Fisher made a 3-pointer from the right side with 4.6 seconds left to tie the game 87-87 and send it to overtime.
LAKERS 87, ORLANDO 87
Rashard Lewis got the home fans going with a 3-pointer on the first possession, but then it was all Lakers, as they went on a 12-1 run to close out the game. The big shot, of course, came from Fisher, who broke a 91-91 tie with yet another devastating 3-pointer.
LAKERS 99, ORLANDO 91
Reminiscent of their third-quarter dominance in Game 1, the Lakers absolutely crushed the Magic in this period. They went on a 16-3 run to take a 55-54 lead midway through the period, and Orlando lost all rhythm on offense as the Lakers gained more confidence.
LAKERS 67, ORLANDO 63
Josh Powell? DJ Mbenga? Was this a preseason game in Bakersfield? Foul trouble made the Lakers go deep into their bench, and it showed. Orlando took a 10-point lead less than five minutes in, and the Lakers did well to stay within 12 points at the half.
ORLANDO 49, LAKERS 37
A nightmare period for the Lakers. They missed 12 of their first 17 shots, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom each picked up two fouls and Dwight Howard had a monster quarter, with 11 rebounds and three blocks. The score could have been much worse.
ORLANDO 24, LAKERS 20
Orlando had an eight-point lead and momentum with seven minutes left, but the Lakers went on a 14-6 run to tie the game 99-99. The Magic didn’t fold, however. Bryant missed a 3 that would have given the Lakers the lead, and killed the Lakers’ hopes with a late turnover.
ORLANDO 108, LAKERS 104
Orlando shot a Finals record 75 percent from the field in the first half, but couldn’t keep it up, right? Well, sort of. The Magic hit three of its first four shots and built an eight-point lead with 2:31 remaining, but Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 left to keep the Lakers close.
ORLANDO 81, LAKERS 75