June 11 - ARMWAY ARENA - ORLANDO. Derek Fisher's 0.4 shot was the biggest highlight of his career. But not anymore. He sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer and hit another clutch three at the end of the extra time to help the Lakers get a 99-91 victory and to move within 1 win of another NBA championship.
Kobe Bryant led the team with 32 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds and Trevor Ariza sparked them win 13 of his 16 points in the third quarter when they recovered from a 12-point half-time deficit. The Lakers won the period 30-14 but in the fourth the Magic regained some composure and at the end and were leading 87-84 with 11 seconds left when Kobe had to foul Dwight Howard hard under the basket to stop a dunk attempt. By making at least one free throw, Orlando's center, who had 16 points, 21 rebounds and a Finals record 9 blocks, would have made it a two-possession game but he missed both. After a timeout the ball went to Fisher's hand who ran the court and with 4.6 second left dropped a 3-pointer over Jameer Nelson. Orlando had problems to inbound the ball for a final play and Pietrus forced a shot that didn't go in.
Rashard Lewis made a 3-pointer to open the overtime, Kobe answered with two quick baskets and nobody scored again until Howard made a free throw to tie it a 91 with 1:27 left. Then Kobe, who was trying to attack the basket, saw Nelson coming to double him and assisted Fisher who hit another three with 31.3 seconds remaining. If it looked as a crucial play at the moment, it was confirmed seconds later when Lewis tipped the ball out toward halfcourt, Gasol grabbed it and went for a two-handed dunk that basically ended the game. Gasol had 16 and 10 rebounds and received a very hard foul by Pietrus when he dunked the ball again with 3 seconds left. They both got technical for going at each other after it and Pietrus also was called with a flagrant foul.
Fisher, a clutch player all his career in L.A., Atlanta and Utah, had missed all 5 of his 3-point attempts before making the one that forced overtime. He has 40 3-point shots made in 6 championships series with the Lakers and only two players have made more In NBA finals history: Robert Horry with 56 and Michael Jordan with 42.
Kobe didn't shot well going 11-for-31 from the field but this time he made all his 5 free throws and he kept his team in the game with 13 points in a first quarter when in a unbalanced officiated game the Lakers received a lot of unbelievable calls and got all their big men in early foul trouble. The Magic shot .595 from the line (22-for-37) including 7 misses in the fourth quarter and committed 17 turnovers compared with 7 for L.A. and suffered the lack of contribution from one of their top scorers, Rashard Lewis who was well defended and almost disappeared. He had 6 points on 2-for-10 shooting.