I’ll save a summary for a later date – but on Saturday night, most of the SoD gang hit the town to celebrate the birth of yours truly. I think we all learned a few lessons about ourselves but most of all we learned all about “Friend-jection.” What is Friend-jection you may ask? Stay tuned.
Lakers 101 Magicians 96 – Courtney Lee meet Nick Anderson – may the two of you live eternally in Orlando Magic lore. Lee missed a potential game winning alley-oop layup off the inbounds pass with .6 seconds remaining in regulation and Orlando’s chances of winning the game – and the series – went poof. Lee’s miss sent the game to overtime – an overtime the Lakers controlled to take a 2-0 series lead.
1995 Adidas ABCD camp MVP Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and dished out 8 assists to lead the Lakers while a homeless drifter Pau Gasol added 24 – including 7 in the overtime period – and Lamar Odom shot 8 of 9 from the field for 19 points. Orlando was led by Rashard Lewis’ 34, Hedo Turkoglu’s 22, and a 17-16 effort from Superman.
Neither team was sharp early – as the score sat at 15 a piece after 1 quarter. The offense picked up in the subsequent quarters but this certainly wasn’t the prettiest game for either team. However the fact of the matter is that Los Angeles sits just 2 wins away from their first NBA title since 2002 – a title that would seal Kobe Bryant’s legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history. As much as it pains me to say it – this would be an impressive championship that would shut a lot of critics, myself included, up.
The Magic are now in serious trouble. Their Game 2 loss moved them into 2nd place all-time for most consecutive losses before their first NBA Finals win (6 and counting, the record is 9 by the Washington Bullets). You’ve got to wonder whether Lee’s missed lay-up will have the same effect as Anderson’s four missed free throws, also on June 7th, 14 years ago. Those Magic went on to lose 3 straight and the series – will these Magic suffer the same fate? Yes they probably will.
Things got so bad for Orlando that J.J. Redick actually saw 27 minutes of court time. If anyone had told me that J.J. Redick was going to get 27 minutes – time in which he shot a pathetic 2 for 9 – I’d have flown to Vegas and attempted to use my kidney as currency to make a sizable bet.
Game 3 is Tuesday in Orlando – maybe 7th times a charm for the Magic. In the mean time we’re just 65 days away from the Cardinals first pre-season game. Thank god.