Posted Jul 28 2011 6:13PM
With memories of the 2008 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 against 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 sqaud as the Lakers dominated the Finals in five games, giving Kobe his fourth NBA championship. .
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)
L.A. Lakers defeated Orlando (4-1)
PPG -- Dwyane Wade, Miami (30.2)
FG% -- Shaquille O'Neal, Phoenix (.609)
FT% -- Jose Calderon, Toronto (.981)
3PT% -- Anthony Morrow, Golden State Warriors (.467)
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)
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
Marcus Morris throws the alley-oop to his brother Markieff Morris for the flush.
|Bledsoe's Amazing Shot|
Eric Bledsoe weaves through traffic and gets the circus shot to fall.
|Meeks in Reverse|
Jodie Meeks drives and finishes with the acrobatic reverse layup.
|Timberwolves vs. Pistons |
Kevin Love has a big night with 26 points and 16 rebounds to lift the Timberwolves to a 121-94 win over the Pistons.
|Suns vs. Lakers: First half|
The Suns have a 56-51 halftime lead over the Lakers behind Goran Dragic's 17 first-half points.