Game review: Magic (44-20) 96, Lakers (46-18) 94
In a tough, extremely physical contest that saw a combined 53 fouls called (with several questionable calls against both teams) and the two teams shooting a combined 65 free throws, the Magic led for most of the game and held off several Lakers' runs in the fourth quarter, including a missed Kobe Bryant jumper that would have tied the game in the final seconds. The Magic were able to hold on despite missing 10 of their final 21 free throws and committing 20 turnovers. The Magic held the Lakers to just 37.5% shooting and outrebounded them by 11. The Magic also had all 5 starters in double figures while the Lakers had just 3 starters in double figures, including 34 points from Bryant, who needed 30 shots to get those points.
The Lakers' only leads of the game came in the first quarter at 10-9 and 12-9. It was a foul-plagued quarter, with the Magic making 17 of 18 free throws (Vince Carter 10 of 10) and the Lakers 9 of 11 free throws as the Magic led by as much as 31-21 before going into the second quarter with a 31-24 lead. The Magic were able to maintain that lead throughout the second, but the Lakers scored the final 4 points of the half to make it 52-48 Magic at halftime.
The Magic went on a 10-2 run later in the third for their largest lead of the game at 71-59, and led 74-64 going into the fourth. The Lakers scored the first 8 points of the fourth to pull within 74-72, as the Magic did not make a field goal in the fourth until 5:23 elapsed. A key sequence came when Pau Gasol was called for a flagrant foul against Dwight Howard after a Howard slam to make it 81-74 Magic, but Howard missed the two free throws and Mickael Pietrus was called for offensive goaltending after the missed free throws. The Lakers took advantage of this to pull within 2 points on several occasions, but the Magic always had an answer. A Matt Barnes three pointer gave the Magic a 93-87 lead with 1:10 remaining, but the Magic missed 2 of their next 4 free throws as the Lakers pulled to within 95-84 with 12.9 seconds remaining. Carter could only split his 2 free throws giving the Magic a 96-94 lead, but Bryant missed what would have been the game-tying shot with just over a second remaining as the Magic rebounded as the clock ran out.
Magic leading scorers
Vince Carter: 25 points (5 of 10 FGs, 2 of 4 3 PT FGs, 13 of 14 FTs)
Dwight Howard: 15 points (6 of 14 FGs, 3 of 8 FTs), 16 rebounds, 2 blocks
Jameer Nelson: 15 points (5 of 14 FGs, 5 of 6 FTs), 9 rebounds, 7 assists
Rashard Lewis: 12 points (4 of 13 FGs, 4 of 9 3 PT FGs), 6 rebounds
Matt Barnes: 10 points (4 of 9 FGs, 1 of 3 3 PT FGs), 6 rebounds
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: ORL 41.1% (30 of 73) LAL 37.5% (33 of 88)
3 PT FG%: ORL 33.3% (8 of 24) LAL 29.4% (5 of 17)
FT%: LAL 88.5% (23 of 26) ORL 71.8% (28 of 39)
REB: ORL 50 (15 offensive) LAL 39 (14 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 18/20 LAL 16/7
BENCH: ORL 19 LAL 16
Other game notes and stats:
-In addition to Bryant's 34 points, Pau Gasol scored 20 points along with 11 rebounds and Derek Fisher added 11 points
-Bryant and Fisher combined to shoot 16 of 42 from the field
-Bryant took 30 of the Lakers' 70 shots from their 5 starters
-The Lakers' Ron Artest (8 points in 38 minutes)) and Andrew Bynum (5 points in 19 minutes) combined for 13 points on 3 of 15 shooting
-Despite all the foul calls, no one on either team fouled out, but 5 players had 5 fouls
-Barnes and Howard were assessed technicals for the Magic, while Bryant was called for a technical for the Lakers, as Barnes and Bryant exchanged words several times during the game
-Carter was the only Magic starter to shoot at least 50% from the field; the other 4 starters combined to shoot 19 of 50
-Pietrus led the Magic reserves with 7 points in 19 minutes, and Marcin Gortat added 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench
-Lamar Odom led the Lakers' bench with 8 points and 6 rebounds, but played over 33 minutes
-The Lakers scored 30 fourth quarter points on 13 of 25 shooting, as the Magic were held to 22 points in both the third and fourth quarters, but the Lakers could just score 16 third quarter points
-Bryant shot 7 of 16 in the fourth quarter as he scored 18 points
-The Magic missed their first 7 shots in the fourth quarter but made 7 of their final 8 shots
-The Magic were just 7 of 13 on free throws in the fourth quarter with 5 turnovers
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.