By Fran Blinebury, for NBA.com
Posted Jun 7 2009 11:54PM
24 -- Where amazing happens. That would be the Magic showing up for Game 2, right?
23 -- 4:47, 1st quarter: Rafer Alston makes a pair of free throws. He's 0-for-2 from the field. Is he still bothered by sitting out those 12 minutes of the second quarter on Thursday night?
22 -- 3:44, 1st quarter: Pau Gasol picks off a pass by Hedo Turkoglu. That's the sixth turnover already by the Magic. Any chance the fans in Orlando can hear Stan Van Gundy screeching without benefit of any TV microphones in the huddle? "When's it gonna cha-a-a-a-a-a-nge?"
21 -- 2:30, 1st quarter: Wouldn't you love to be passing the stuffing and gravy around the Thanksgiving table at the Van Gundy house? Barely a minute after little brother Stan chews out his team for playing with the same listless attitude as the opener, big brother Jeff says he loves the Magic's attitude and hustle in Game 2.
20 -- 1:29, 1st quarter: Talk about your quick starts. The good news is that Dwight Howard has already matched his total field-goal output from the opener. Of course, the bad news is that means Superman has one bucket.
19 -- Who dropped the WNBA into the middle of The Finals? The Lakers (6-for-20) and Magic (4-for-14) combine for the lowest scoring first quarter in the history of The Finals. It was enough to give you horrid flashbacks of that 78-73 egg laid by Utah and Chicago in the Jazz' Game 4 in 1997.
18 -- It's not such a small, small world after all. Stan Van Gundy goes early to a lineup that includes Howard and Marcin Gortat together late in the first quarter. He also goes to Tony Battie to start the second quarter. SVG knows it's getting late for the Magic and is holding nothing back.
17 -- What was that guy's name who got all the headlines in Game 1? Lamar Odom is doing it all. Andrew Bynum is wheeling in the paint for a three-point play. Do the Lakers really need Kobe, who is 1-for-4 with three points?
16 -- 5:54, 2nd quarter: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is obviously doing some nice work on those post moves with his student/project Bynum. Now if he could only teach Bynum to avoid those dumb fouls, like reaching in on Hedo Turkoglu to get No. 3.
15 -- One thing Howard can't do in this series is complain to Van Gundy about a lack of touches. He had 32 touches and only one field in the opener. With just over two minutes left in Game 2, Howard has 14 touches and only one field goal. That Laker double-teaming is stifling him.
14 -- Kobe Who? That's Rashard Lewis in La-La land tonight, hitting four triples in the first half and conjuring up the Magic with 18 points in the second quarter. Any chance the Lakers might guard him in the second half.
13 -- How worried are sitting in the locker room at halftime if you're the Magic? The Lakers are shooting just 16-for-38 (42 percent), Kobe is quiet and content in his facilitator role, Rashard already has 20 and still Orlando trails 40-35 at the half.
12 -- So if the Lakers already have the Magic overmatched on the court, how do you describe the one-sided battle of celebrities? Warren Beatty, Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Andy Garcia and Jack (no last name needed) on hand at the Staples Center. Who shows up to sit courtside when the scene shifts to Orlando -- Mickey, Goofy and a couple of Amway salesmen?
11 -- 8:59, 3rd quarter: Since they are in Hollywood, doesn't it occur to you that the late Alfred Hitchcock used to play bigger cameo roles in his movies than Andrew Bynum (four fouls) in most Lakers games?
10 -- 5:29, 3rd quarter: Mark it down. Superman still can fly and Dwight Howard still can dunk. He winds up at the end of a less-than-pretty Magic fastbreak for his first slam of The Finals.
9 -- 3:48, 3rd quarter: Turkoglu knocks down his second 3-pointer of the night to tie it at 54-all. Shouldn't the Lakers be worried that the Magic are shooting so poorly and are even? Aren't these the Lakers who had so many fans concerned in the series against Houston and Denver?
8 -- Is it a product of a kinder, gentler, touchy-feely 21st-century atmosphere or just a lot of nonsense that Jameer Nelson asked for the blessings of Rafer Alston and Anthony Johnson before he returned to the Magic lineup? What happened to the best players play? Who's kidding whom?
7 -- Turkoglu comes alive with 14 points in the third quarter and with a 65-63 lead entering the final period, this is starting to look like the kind of game the Magic have been stealing on the road ever since the playoffs began back in April.
6 -- The Candy Man can. Remember just a few weeks ago, when the sweet-toothed Lamar Odom was supposedly softer than cotton candy and the Lakers were struggling? Now that's Odom mixing it up on the inside and making big buckets for the Lakers in the fourth quarter.
5 -- Sorry, Stan Van Gundy. That fifth foul on Andrew Bynum means he has to go back to the bench again and you get Lamar Odom back. Who exactly are these fouls on Bynum hurting?
4 -- 6:13, 4th quarter: What's the point? Who cares if it's Jameer Nelson, Rafer Alston or Anthony Johnson at point guard for the Magic? In fact, they've made some of their best runs this playoff season with no point guard and Turkoglu distributing. Just like this. Hedo to Lewis for a trey and the Magic up 77-75.
3 -- Lewis steps through a double team and knocks down a clutch banker, then Turkoglu gets separation with a step-back 23-footer and the Magic take an 88-86 lead with 47.7 seconds left. Has any team been close to Orlando in making big buckets late in these playoffs?
2 -- Hedo. Hedo. Hedo. You expect those big 3-pointers. You've become accustomed to those drives through traffic. But who figures Turkoglu is going to make the defensive play of the game? Hedo and Kobe don't.
1 -- Could a ride on Space Mountain just after an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch leave the Magic Kingdom and Courtney Lee feeling any sicker than those two missed shots at the end of regulation? That was Orlando's chance to make it a series and now the only question left is will the Lakers pack their brooms for the trip to Florida?
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