Excuse the tardiness of the Nightcap – my performance lately has been about as good as LeBron’s supporting cast.
Magicians 116 Cavs 114 – I’m sure this has already been written about 800 places but as Michael Jordan had his Jordanaires, LeBron James has his court jesters.
The Magicians pulled another one out of their hat (pun-city), despite 44 from the King, and have now pushed the Cavs to the brink of elimination. Cleveland carried an 8 point lead into the half but quickly squandered it – leading to yet another dramatic 4th quarter. Rashard Lewis hit a quick release three pointer off an inbounds play to give Orlando a 100-98 lead with just 4.1 seconds to play. Following that, Cleveland cleared the lane for LeBron who drove and was fouled by Mickael Pietrus. LeBron hit both free throws – and despite a controversial inbounds play in which Anderson Varejao fouled Dwight Howard roughly 37 times, we were headed to overtime.
Despite LeBron’s best efforts in OT- including an insane three he hit while falling to the bench – the Cavs fell when his 35 foot would-be buzzer beating three pointer came up just a few inches short and to the left (insert dick joke).
The genuinely balanced Magic got 27 from Dwight Howard, a surprising 26 from Skip to my Lou (including 6 for 12 from three), and 17 and 15 respectively from Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. Perhaps it’s time to take Orlando seriously as a title contender. I can’t believe I just wrote that.
And now here the series stands – Cleveland is down 3 games to 1 with their dream season on life support. They won 66 games, LeBron won an MVP, and everything seemed to be shaping up for Cleveland’s first title as a city since the 1964 Browns. Is there some way that the King can rally his jesters to three consecutive wins? They do have the advantage that 2 of those 3 games (that they’d need to win) will be at home – but do they have what it takes to steal one in Orlando? For as great as he is, LeBron cannot do it completely alone. Looks like it’s Dwight Howard puppet time.
Game 5 is Thursday in Cleveland.
Lakers/Nuggets are getting back together for Game 5 in LA tonight – should be a fun brawl.