Game 4 Rewind

Game 4 Rewind

Game 4 Rewind
By Brad Young

Orlando squandered a golden opportunity to tie the NBA Finals at two games apiece, and now the Magic find themselves in a 3-1 series hole. Los Angeles is now just one victory from claiming its 15th championship in team history, while Orlando must now win three straight games for its first title.
   
The Lakers rallied in Thursday’s Game 4 to prevail in overtime as a one-point road underdog, 99-91. Even though the game went to overtime, the combined 190 points never seriously threatened the 200 ½-point closing total. The ‘under’ has gone 3-1 this series, including both overtime outings.

Game 5 will not take place until Sunday at Orlando’s Amway Arena, but Las Vegas Sports Consultants has already installed the Magic as a two-point home ‘chalk.’ The total is currently listed at 197.

The Magic have nobody to blame but themselves for this loss, squandering a late lead in regulation while shooting a dismal 60 percent (22-of-37) from the free-throw line. Orlando did enter halftime with a double-digit advantage, 49-37, before getting dominated in the third quarter, 30-14.

Los Angeles forced the extra stanza when point guard Derek Fisher drilled a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining, and salted the game away with another 3-pointer with 31.3 seconds left in overtime. The game tying 3-pointer was set up when Orlando center Dwight Howard missed two free throws with 11.1 seconds left in regulation.

Ironically, Fisher missed his first five 3-pointers of the contest before becoming the late-game hero. The 12-year veteran finished the game with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Shooting guard Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 32 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Pau Gasol contributed with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Trevor Ariza added 16 and nine.

Orlando shot 42 percent (31-of-74) for the game, and 33 percent (7-of-21) from behind the arc. Forward Hedo Turkoglu paced the offense with 25 points and five rebounds, while Howard had 16, 21 and nine blocks.

Los Angeles entered Thursday’s Game 4 mired in a seven-game straight-up road losing streak in the NBA Finals. The Lakers, a stellar 7-0 SU this year following a postseason loss, are now just a win away from their first championship since 2002.

Orlando is now 0-2 this series when leading after the first quarter. The Magic enjoyed their first double-digit lead of this series before losing.

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