NBA History
NBA History

Season Review: 2008-09

The Lakers bounce back from 2008 heartbreak

NBA.com Staff

Aug 23, 2017 3:14 PM ET

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol form another championship tandem in Los Angeles.

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With memories of their Finals loss to the rival Celtics and with a full year to play with Pau Gasol (acquired at the trade deadline the season before) the 2008-09 Lakers were on a mission from the first day of the season.

Capping off a 65-win regular season, the Lakers entered the playoffs as the co-favorites and survived a seven-game series against the Houston Rockets and a six-game battle with the Carmelo Anthony-led Denver Nuggets to meet the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Finals.

In the East, Dwight Howard led the Magic to The Finals after upsetting the NBA's best regular season team, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

But Dwight Howard and Co. were no match for a hungry Los Angeles squad as the Lakers dominated The Finals in five games, giving Kobe Bryant his fourth NBA championship.

PLAYOFFS

Eastern Conference first round
Atlanta defeated Miami (4-3)
Boston defeated Chicago (4-3)
Cleveland defeated Detroit (4-0)
Orlando defeated Philadelphia (4-2)

Western Conference first round
Dallas defeated San Antonio (4-1)
Denver defeated New Orleans (4-1)
Houston defeated Portland (4-2)
L.A. Lakers defeated Utah (4-1)

Eastern Conference semifinals
Cleveland defeated Atlanta (4-0)
Orlando defeated Boston (4-3)

Western Conference semifinals
Denver defeated Dallas (4-1)
L.A. Lakers defeated Houston (4-3)

Eastern Conference finals
Orlando defeated Cleveland (4-2)

Western Conference finals
L.A. Lakers defeated Denver (4-2)

NBA Finals
L.A. Lakers defeated Orlando (4-1)

SEASON LEADERS

PPG -- Dwyane Wade, Miami (30.2)
Assists -- Chris Paul, New Orleans (11.0)
Rebounds -- Dwight Howard, Orlando (13.8)
Steals -- Chris Paul, New Orleans (2.8)
Blocked Shots -- Dwight Howard, Orlando (2.9)
FG% -- Shaquille O'Neal, Phoenix (60.9)
FT% -- Jose Calderon, Toronto (98.1)
3PT% -- Anthony Morrow, Golden State Warriors (46.7)

AWARD WINNERS

MVP -- LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Rookie of the Year -- Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Defensive Player of the Year -- Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Most Improved Player -- Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
Sixth Man of the Year -- Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks
Coach of the Year -- Mike Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers
All-Star Game MVP -- Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers/Shaquille O'Neal, Phoenix Suns
Finals MVP -- Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers


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