June 9 - ARMWAY ARENA - ORLANDO. The Magic really felt at home, shooting an NBA Finals record 63 percent to get their first Finals win, 108-104 and cut the Lakers lead lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. It was a loss but it wasn't that bad because the Lakers could have had a chance to win it just by making their free throws.
Based on an excellent ball movement and a lot of extra passes Orlando set an other Finals record with their 75 % from the field in the first half and by the end of the game five of their players had scored 18 points or more points. After having an awful performance in game 1 the Magic players, one by one, started making their offensive contribution to the team. It was Lewis, Turkoglu and Howard in game 2 and now Alston with 20 points and Pietrus with 18 joined the group to generate a big problem for the Lakers defense. Lewis added 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, Howard 21 points and 14 rebounds and Turkoglu 18 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
Kobe Bryant, kept his team in the game with 17 points in a first quarter the Lakers won 31-27 and despite the Magic shooting festival somehow L.A. went to the halftime rest trailing just by 5 points, 59-54. Kobe ended with 31 points and 8 assists but he was 11-for-25 from the field including 3-for-10 on the second half. The most unusual part of Kobe's performance was the missed free throws. In what could have changed the output of the game he missed 5 of 10 attempts from the line while the Lakers as team missed 10 of 26.
The Magic entered the fourth quarter leading 81-75 and with 7:55 left they got their biggest lead in this series going up by nine, 91-82. But the Lakers didn't give up and stayed close until Pau Gasol (23 points) made two free throws to tie it at 99. Orlando retook control and then with 28 seconds left and the need to score fast to erase a 4-point deficit (106-102) the Lakers missed 4 consecutive three-point attempts on a single possession (Kobe, Ariza, Kobe, Fisher) before Bryant, forced by the clock running out, made a layup and Lewis sealed the score with two free-throws.
In their previous trip to Finals in 1995 the Magic team that included Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway was swept by the Houston Rockets.