Lakers Gameday | 06/04/09 | Lakers 100, Magic 75 - NBA Finals Game 1

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100
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Orlando Magic 24 19 15 17 75
Los Angeles Lakers 22 31 29 18 100
75

Lakers Game Leaders
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Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
40 Points
Field Goals: 16 of 34
FG: 47%
Lamar Odom Lamar Odom
14 Rebounds
Defensive: 10
Offensive: 2
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
8 Assists
8 Rebounds
2 Steals
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
+25
2 Blocks
8-8 Free Throws

BasketBlog
  • Lakers 100, Magic 75: Postgame 1
  • Lakers - Magic Running Diary 1
  • Just Kidding: Nelson WILL Play
  • VIDEO: Larry O’Brien Time-Lapse
  • Lil’ Wayne’s Kobe/Lakers Track

  • Video
    Pictures
    Photo Gallery
    Post-Game Numbers
  • 64 - Rebounds that reserve forward Josh Powell would have finished with were he to play all 48 minutes, as he grabbed four in only three minutes of play.
  • 46.1 - Shooting percentage for an efficient Lakers attack, helped by the on-target Luke Walton (4-of-5, nine points) and Derek Fisher (4-of-6, nine points).
  • 34 - Shots taken by Bryant, more than what he took in Games 5 and 6 combined against the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. He seemed to figure out how Orlando was playing him after the first quarter, and took particular advantage of the pick and roll, which Stan Van Gundy lamented after the game. As for Kobe: “They were giving me a jumper,” he said.
  • 32 - Second half points for the Magic, compared to 47 for the Lakers.
  • 14 - Points scored off the bench by Mickael Pietrus, 11 of which were in the second half, to lead the Magic.
  • 4 - Lakers players that had at least eight rebounds, led by 14 from Lamar Odom in 32 minutes. Pau Gasol (8), Kobe Bryant (8) and Andrew Bynum (9) filled out the boarding foursome.
  • 3 - Three pointers hit by the Lakers in a 25-point win
    --Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

  • STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Trevor Ariza
    T. Ariza
    Forward
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Center
    Andrew Bynum
    A. Bynum
    Guard
    Rafer Alston
    R. Alston
    Guard
    Courtney Lee
    C. Lee
    Forward
    Hedo Turkoglu
    H. Turkoglu
    Forward
    Rashard Lewis
    R. Lewis
    Center
    Dwight Howard
    D. Howard

    Lakers Gameday Articles and Updates
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    • POST-GAME
    • BRIAN SHAW PREVIEW
    • GAME PREVIEW
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES
    Kobe's 40 lift Lakers to dominant Game 1 win

    LOS ANGELES(AP) One step toward redemption, one step toward a ring.

    Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers began the NBA finals with power and purpose.

    Bryant, playing like a man possessed, scored 40 points and the Lakers, who have waited nearly one year for a chance to erase bitter memories of a Boston beatdown and a championship they felt belonged to them, pounded the Orlando Magic 100-75 in Game 1 on Thursday night.

    This year, nothing short of a 15th title will do for the Lakers.

    And with the sensational Bryant out front, they may be on their way.

    Game 2 is Sunday night at star-studded Staples Center, where actors Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and rapper Kanye West had front-row seats to see another virtuoso performance by Bryant, who scored 18 points in the third quarter as the Lakers opened a 26-point lead.

    The last time the Lakers were seen in the finals, they were heading toward their locker room in Boston last June and summer break after being drubbed by 39 points in a series-ending Game 6 by the Celtics. The renewed rivalry between the league's superpowers never panned out.

    Bryant and his teammates have used that humiliation to motivate them all season and throughout these playoffs.

    They are on a mission.

    The Magic, who went 2-0 against the Lakers in the regular season, appeared a touch overwhelmed in their first finals appearance since 1995. Not even the return of All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson from a four-month layoff following shoulder surgery could help the Eastern Conference champions.

    Orlando center Dwight Howard was engulfed by two and three Lakers every time he touched the ball and scored 12 points - 10 on free throws - on just 1-of-6 shooting.

    And the Magic's outside shooters, so deadly while eliminating MVP LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals, were off the mark.

    "We did a good job on him, but he'll be ready to go Game 2,'' Bryant said. "We worked very hard on the perimeter, keeping those guys out of rhythm, then we did a good job on him inside - giving him different looks.''

    The Magic went just 8-of-23 on 3s and shot only 30 percent overall. They are facing some long odds, too.

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson, seeking a record 10th title, is 43-0 in series in which his team wins Game 1.

    On the dry-erase board in Orlando's locker room, coach Stan Van Gundy, in handwriting as neat as a schoolteacher's, devoted two sections on how he wanted his team to defend Bryant.

    Nothing worked.

    The self-proclaimed "Black Mamba'' slithered around Magic defenders with ease. Bryant scored an effortless 18 points in the first half and then took over in the third quarter, scoring 18 of L.A.'s 29 points with an assortment of jumpers, fadeaways and layups.

    "We wanted to come out and keep our energy up,'' Bryant said. "We wanted to stay aggressive and it was my responsibility over the course of the game to keep it going.''

    With the 24-second shot clock running down on one possession, he froze Mickael Pietrus with a head fake and then sliced between Howard and Rashard Lewis, who looked as if they might applaud him, too. Moments later, Bryant whipped a pass to teammate Trevor Ariza, who buried a 3-pointer to make it 80-58.

    Bryant pumped both fists and yelled toward Ariza. But this time, Bryant, who can be demanding of those around him, was offering support. Accused of being aloof and selfish, he has become a better teammate and a better leader.

    On the eve of Game 1, Bryant said winning his first title since teammate Shaquille O'Neal was traded in 2004 was not that important to him. Bryant bristled at the notion that he wouldn't have any of his three titles - from 2000-02 - without Shaq as nonsense.

    He says he wants No. 4 because it's the one in front of him.

    And he's three wins from getting it.

    Nelson sat the first quarter as he has throughout the playoffs, but Van Gundy started him in the second quarter and the healed guard made an immediate impact.

    Nervously chomping on his black mouthpiece and darting as always, he made a sweet bounce pass to Marcin Gortat for a dunk on Orlando's first possession in the period. Nelson then set up Lewis for a 3 before making his first basket in four months on a short baseline jumper.

    Nelson was back and the Magic, who dethroned the champion Celtics and toppled King James, looked as if they'd give the Lakers a run.

    Bryant, though, outran them by himself.

    Notes: Van Gundy said the toughest part of his decision to play Nelson was telling guard Tyronn Lue he would be inactive. ... Bryant is ranked as the world's 10th biggest celebrity by Forbes. Bryant was the second highest ranked athlete, trailing only Tiger Woods, who was No. 5. According to the magazine, Bryant made $45 million in salary and endorsements this year. ... With 206 playoff wins, Jackson trails only Hall of Fame hockey coach Scotty Bowman (223) for the most wins in postseason history. ... Van Gundy drew a huge laugh before the game when he was asked if he was frightened by facing Jackson and his fingers full of nine NBA rings. "I guess if one of the NBA players threatened to kick my butt, I'd be intimidated,'' Van Gundy said. "Phil sitting down there on his chair doesn't intimidate me.''


    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

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    BRIAN SHAW PREVIEW

    Lakers Assistant Coach Brian Shaw took a few minutes to talk about the Orlando Magic and what the Lakers have to concentrate on in order to start off the NBA Finals with a win.

    LAKERS - MAGIC PREVIEW

    LOS ANGELES (AP) His smile has vanished, replaced by something closer to a scowl. His days of joking around are seemingly on hold.

    Kobe Bryant has gotten deadly serious.

    He has that look, you've seen the one. It's the cold-blooded, get-out-of-my-way-or-pay glare he'll shoot at a teammate who messes up or an opponent who dares to try and stop him.

    The Black Mamba is poised to strike.

    The NBA finals are in his sights.

    After a humbling loss to the Boston Celtics in last year's finals, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will be seeking atonement - and a 15th championship - when they face the resurrected Orlando Magic in Game 1 on Thursday night at the Staples Center.

    For Bryant, the game's greatest late-game closer since Michael Jordan, it's a second opportunity at shutting up some of his loudest detractors. He has won three titles, but hasn't been able to get No. 4 since Shaquille O'Neal was traded after the 2004 season to Miami.

    Bryant was asked Wednesday if he needed a post-Shaq championship to enhance his legacy.

    "Not at all,'' Bryant said. "It means nothing. To me, it's about winning another one, just because I want to win another one.''

    Before catching his breath, Bryant, who had been loose and relaxed earlier this week, then took a verbal swipe worthy of a flagrant foul at O'Neal, his former teammate with whom he famously feuded.

    "People think Shaq would have won a championship without me on that team,'' he said. "They're crazy.''

    This is Bryant's chance. He doesn't want to waste it.

    And O'Neal, a 7-foot timeline connecting finals appearances by both franchises, posted a message on his Twitter.com site saying he was pulling for Bryant.

    "I am saying it today and today only,'' Shaq tweeted. "I want kobe bryant to get number four, spread da word.''

    From the moment Bryant dejectedly walked off the floor in Boston last June following L.A.'s 39-point loss in Game 6, he has been focused on a return. He helped restore U.S. basketball's world supremacy by leading the Americans to an Olympic gold medal in China last summer.

    That was the Redeem Team. He's on another one.

    "My next goal is winning the NBA championship,'' he said. "We don't want to fall short of that.''

    Los Angeles would seem to have everything - history, experience, star power, coaching, A-List celebrities - over Orlando.

    The Lakers have won 14 titles. Orlando, 0.

    The Lakers have won 61 finals games. Orlando, 0.

    Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson has nine championship rings. Orlando's Stan Van Gundy 1 - but he got it as an assistant and doesn't know where it is.

    Yet the Magic, making their first appearance in the finals since 1995, won both regular-season matchups against the Lakers and are capable of an upset.

    "They've beaten us three of the last four times,'' Bryant said. "So we're very, very concerned.''

    They should be.

    Dwight Howard, Orlando's fun-loving Superman of a center, is the league's latest incarnation of Shaq. He can bend backboards, take over a game at both ends and crack up his teammates with a killer impersonation of the frumpy and grumpy Van Gundy.

    In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Howard scored 40 points with 14 rebounds as the Magic finished off Cleveland and sawed the Kobe Bryant-LeBron James dream finals matchup in half.

    On their way to the finals, the 3-point-happy Magic (they made 62 3s against the Cavs and are averaging 8.6 per game in the postseason) have knocked off the favored Celtics, Cavaliers and can now dispatch the Lakers.

    That would be quite a trifecta. No team has ever beaten three 60-win teams in the same postseason.

    Superman doesn't mind his role as Underdog.

    "We've always been overlooked,'' Howard said. "We were overlooked in the first series against Philly. We were overlooked against Boston. We were overlooked against the Cavs, and we're still overlooked. We don't want to be a team that everybody picks to win, because I think as a young team, once everybody starts saying, 'OK, you're this or you're that,' sometimes you tend to forget what got you there.

    "Everybody picking against us motivates us. It drives us to do something greater.''

    The Magic's season seemed doomed when All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson went down with a shoulder injury in February. The team survived the adversity and now may get a recovered Nelson back for the finals.

    Van Gundy was still weighing whether to play Nelson, who averaged 27.5 points in the two wins over Los Angeles. He isn't worried about Nelson disrupting Orlando's chemistry, and Van Gundy is not convinced his return would provide any goose bumps.

    "It's not like he hasn't played with our guys,'' Van Gundy said, "and I don't really think our guys need an emotional boost. I don't think it's going to be a Willis Reed moment or anything.''

    The overriding theme during the Lakers' post-practice availability on Wednesday was how last season's finals lessons will help them this time. A year ago, many of Los Angeles' young players got swept up and overrun by the mammoth media attention.

    The images of Boston coach Doc Rivers bathing in Gatorade, Kevin Garnett kissing Boston's midcourt leprechaun logo and Paul Pierce hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy have stuck with them.

    The Lakers want to make them go away.

    "We're upset about losing in the finals,'' forward Pau Gasol said. "We should have given it a better shot than we did. It didn't happen, and now we're here again and we can give it a much better shot and really get it done.''


    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    LAKERS SCOUTING REPORT

    We finally have arrived at Game One of the NBA Finals. Following the tough path through the Western Conference playoffs we needed a little time off to heal some bumps and get ready. It feels like we have been off for too long and I’m sure the Magic share the feeling that it’s time to get back on the court and start the battle for the ring. While we’re talking about rings and things we might as well throw the old cliché in at this point. “No rebounds – No rings” is the playoff mantra for most coaches and in this series if we allow Dwight Howard to put up monster 20-20 games we will be in trouble. We must do the job on the glass.

    The first game of the Finals is always a little tricky to prepare for because unlike the conference foes we have only seen this opponent twice this season – the last one being in mid January. Jameer Nelson made the key plays in both regular season contests with the Magic. Nelson seems to be ready to make his comeback from a shoulder injury but has not played in the playoffs. Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Howard form the nucleus of the group that came back from series deficits in the first two rounds and controlled the conference finals. Howard is the inside presence and Lewis and Turkoglu provide the outside threat. What makes this inside/outside combo unique is that both shooters have size. Both can handle the ball and if you try to just switch everything then they can take the mismatch down low and make the opponent pay. In addition, Hedo handles the ball like a point guard and will be involved in a high volume of screen and rolls.
    Click here to read the full scouting report...

    LAKERS UPDATES

    40 POINT GAMES IN THE FINALS
    In the history of the NBA Finals, there have been 45 40-plus point games, 25 of which have been accomplished by Lakers. Jerry West leads all Lakers with 10 40-plus point performances in the NBA Finals, followed by Shaquille O’Neal (5), Elgin Baylor (4), George Mikan (2 with Minneapolis), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1), Wilt Chamberlain (1), Magic Johnson (1) and James Worthy (1). Elgin Baylor holds the NBA Finals record for most points in a game (61), established 4/14/62 @ Boston.

    40-POINT GAMES IN THE POSTSEASON
    In the Lakers Game 3 victory over the Nuggets May 23 in Denver, Kobe Bryant scored 41 points on 12-of-24 shooting including 15-17 FT after scoring 40 points in the Lakers Game 1 victory over the Nuggets May 19, on 13-of-28 shooting including 2-3 3FG and 12-13 FT. The 41 points marked the 9th time in his career that Bryant has scored 40+ points in a playoff game, with the Lakers going 8-1 in those contests. Bryant’s NINE 40+ point games rank third among active players Shaquille O’Neal (12) and Allen Iverson (10) and now rank 4th in team history behind Jerry West (20), Elgin Baylor (14) and Shaquille O’Neal (11). Bryant’s 40+ point playoff games in chronological order are as follows: 48 points 5/13/01 @ SAC (W), 45 points 5/19/01 @ SA (W), 42 points 5/11/04 vs. SA (W), 50 points 5/4/06 vs. PHO (L), 45 points 4/26/07 vs. PHO (W), 49 points 4/23/08 vs. DEN (W), 40 points 5/6/09 vs. HOU (W), 40 points 5/19/09 vs. DEN (W) and 41 points 5/23/09 @ DEN (W). Additionally, this is the fourth consecutive postseason in which Bryant has had at least one game with 40+ points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other players in NBA history have had 40+ points games in each of four straight playoff years: Michael Jordan had an eight-year streak (1985-1992) and a four year streak (1994-1997) while George Mikan (1948-1951, Elgin Baylor (1959-1962) and Allen Iverson (1999-2002) also had four year streaks. During the regular season, Bryant has scored 40+ points 96 times in his career. Last season, Bryant’s 46 points February 1 at Toronto moved him past Elgin Baylor (88 40- plus games) for third all-time. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career regular season 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are 65-31 in games that Bryant has scored 40-plus points. This season, the Lakers were 2-2 when Bryant scored 40-plus.

    LAKERS IN THE NBA FINALS

  • This will be the Lakers 24th trip to the NBA Finals since moving to Los Angeles (30th overall) and 15th since Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the team prior to 1979-80.
  • In 23 trips to the NBA Finals since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season, the Lakers are 9-14 all-time (14-15 overall) and 8-6 under Buss.
  • The Lakers are 81-86 all-time in the NBA Finals (61-71 Los Angeles, 20-15 Minneapolis).
  • Since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format prior to the 1985 Finals, the Lakers are 6-4 overall & 5-1 when holding home-court advantage (1987, 1988, 2000-02, 2004).
  • The Lakers are 14-15 in Game #1 of the NBA Finals (10-13 Los Angeles, 4-2 Minneapolis).
  • When winning Game #1 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 9-5 all-time (5-5 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are 13-16 in Game #2 of the NBA Finals (11-12 Los Angeles, 2-4 Minneapolis).
  • When winning Game #1 and #2 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are – (3-1 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis).
  • When splitting Game #1 and #2 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are – (6-8 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis).
  • When losing Game #1 and #2 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are – (0-5 Los Angeles, 0-1 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are 11-3 all-time in the NBA Finals when holding home court advantage. (7-3 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)

    JACKSON-LED TEAMS A TOUGH OUT WHEN LEADING A PLAYOFF SERIES
    When Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any series, best-of-five or best-of-seven, his teams are now 43-0, having gone 24-0 with Chicago and now 19-0 with the Lakers. When holding a series lead of any kind, Jackson, currently in his 18th postseason as a head coach, is 50-1 all-time. Additionally, the 2009 Conference Finals represented the 18th time a Jackson-led team has led a postseason best-of-seven series 3-2, with his teams going 17-1 in those series (lone loss came in 2006 WC First Round vs. Phoenix). Overall, Jackson now owns a 205-90 postseason record, with his 205 victories being the most of any NBA coach in playoff history. Former Lakers coach Pat Riley ranks second with 171 wins (171-111). Additionally, Jackson’s 295 career playoff games are also the most of any coach in playoff history, also ahead of Riley (282), while his .695 postseason win percentage is tops among all coaches as well. Jackson has made 11 trips to the NBA Finals and is tied with Boston’s legendary coach Red Auerbach for most championships won by a head coach (9). In addition, Jackson (11) is also tied with Bill Russell (11) for most championships won by a player/coach.

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