June 7 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. This time it wasn't easy at all for L.A. The Magic could have won it in regulation but the Lakers survived and reacted in overtime to get a dramatic win 101-96 that puts them in total control of the Finals.
With just 9 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 88 the Lakers had the ball where they wanted it, in Kobe Bryant's hands but his jumper attempt was blocked from behind by Hedo Turkoglu. After two timeouts and with just 0.6 of a second remaining Turkoglu fed rookie Courtney Lee with an alley-oop inbounds pass, but Lee, with some pressure from Pau Gasol. missed his shot.
In overtime Pau Gasol led the way by scoring 7 of L.A.'s 13 points. The Lakers were down 91-90 when they went into a 7-0 run that included a circus shot from Kobe, two free throws from Fisher and a 3-point play by Gasol. Rashard Lewis made a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to close the gap to 96-99 but Odom made 2 free throws to seal the score. The Lakers were perfect from the line in the extra time making all their 9 attempts.
In a close game that started slow with both team scoring 15 points in the first quarter the Magic ended the third two points ahead 65-63 and had chance to steal L.A.'s home-court advantage basically because Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard raised their games after being embarrassed in game 1. Lewis made 6 of 12 three-pointers for 34 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, Turkoglu added 22 points and Howard, who could dunk the ball for the first time this Finals added 17 and 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots and made his presence felt on the defensive side.
But despite Howard's numbers Pau Gasol did a good job on him again at both sides of the court. Having to match with the Magic center most of the time because of Andrew Bynum incapability of staying out of foul trouble (5 points, 5 fouls, 16 minutes), the Spaniard had 24 points and 10 rebounds to contribute to Kobe's 29 points and 8 assists. This time Kobe had 7 turnovers but as always he was the soul of his team and scored 11 points in the fourth quarter including 7 of L.A.'s final 9. Coming from the bench Lamar Odom also had his best moments in the fourth where he scored 8 of his 19 points.