Lakers Gameday | 06/14/09 | Lakers 99, Magic 86 - NBA Finals Game 5

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99
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Los Angeles Lakers 26 30 20 23 99
Orlando Magic 28 18 15 25 86
86

Lakers Game Leaders
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Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
30 Points
Field Goals: 10 of 23
FG: 44%
Pau Gasol Pau Gasol
15 Rebounds
Defensive: 11
Offensive: 4
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
5 Assists
6 Rebounds
2 Steals
Lamar Odom Lamar Odom
+16
17 Points
10 Rebounds

BasketBlog
  • Lakers 99, Magic 86: Championship Postgame
  • Lakers - Magic Running Diary 5
  • What If?
  • Adam Morrison: Manning the Sideline
  • Head Coach Friday Conference Calls

  • Video
    Pictures
    Photo Gallery
    Post-Game Numbers
  • 1 - NBA Title earned by the L.A. Lakers on Sunday, June 14 at Amway Arena in Orlando.
    --Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

  • PROBABLE 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
    • JIM CLEAMONS PREVIEW
    • GAME PREVIEW
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES
    Bryant, Lakers reign once more, 2009 NBA CHAMPIONS!

    ORLANDO, Fla.(AP) Kobe Bryant has the NBA title he needed most - the one without Shaq.

    Bryant's seven-year chase of a coveted championship is over. He's got his fourth, and Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson his record 10th, a ring for each finger. One year after failing in the finals, Bryant and the Lakers have redemption, and all the rewards that go with it.

    They earned their 15th title on Sunday night as Bryant scored 30 points and Pau Gasol added 14 and 15 rebounds in a 99-86 win in Game 5 over the Orlando Magic, who ran out of comebacks.

    It took longer than Bryant expected, but he has stepped out of former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's enormous shadow - at last. His fourth championship secured a strong case can be made for Bryant being the league's best player since Michael Jordan hung up his sneakers.

    His coach stands alone.

    Jackson, the chilled-out, bow-legged Zen Master who won six league titles in the 1990s with Jordan in Chicago, now has won No. 4 with Los Angeles and broke a tie with legendary Boston coach Red Auerbach as the winningest coach in finals history.

    "I'll smoke the cigar tonight in memory of Red,'' Jackson said. "He was a great guy.''

    Bryant and Jackson, whose relationship strained and briefly snapped under the weight of success, are again at the top of their games.

    Together.

    Nothing was going to stop Bryant, who spent the postseason scowling, snarling, baring his teeth and all but breathing fire at anything in his path. For weeks, the All-Star has worn his game face, and only when the victory was his in the final seconds did the finals MVP allow himself to smile.

    After the final horn, he leaped into the air and was quickly engulfed by his teammates, who bounced around the floor of Amway Arena. Bryant then gave a long, heartfelt hug and shared a few words with Jackson before sweeping up his daughters, both wearing gold Lakers dresses, into his arms.

    Bryant had come up short twice in the finals before, in 2004 with O'Neal against Detroit, and again last season against the Celtics in the renewal of the league's best rivalry. The Lakers were beaten in six games, losing the finale in Boston by 39 points, a humiliating beatdown that Bryant and his teammates had trouble shaking.

    They went to training camp with one goal in mind. This was going to be their season, and except for a few minor missteps, it was.

    "It's so tough to win championships,'' Bryant said. "We started over from scratch. Here we are again. This really feels like a dream.''

    After beating Utah in the first round, Los Angeles was forced to go seven games against Houston, which lost center Yao Ming to an injury. The Lakers then took care of Denver in six games, setting up a matchup with the shoot-from-their-hips Magic, who made their first visit to the finals since O'Neal took them there in 1995.

    Orlando will be haunted by moments in a series that swung on a few plays and had two overtime games.

    After losing Game 1 by 25 points, the Magic had their chance in Game 2 but rookie Courtney Lee missed an alley-oop layup in the final second of regulation. In Game 4, Dwight Howard clanged two free throws with 11.1 seconds, and the Magic allowed Derek Fisher to nail a game-tying 3-pointer to force OT.

    Howard, the Magic's super hero center, was hardly a factor in Game 5. He scored 11 points, took just nine shots and never got a chance to get going. Rashard Lewis scored 18 points, but was only 3 of 12 on 3s for Orlando, which after living on the 3, finally died by it.

    The Magic went just 8 of 27 from long range.

    Orlando was trying to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals. They had rallied to knock off Philadelphia and Boston, and then upset LeBron James and Cleveland in the conference finals. The Magic always felt they had a shot at history.

    Bryant, though, wouldn't be denied his place.

    As teammates, Bryant and O'Neal were nearly unbeatable on the court. Off it, there were problems.

    The pair won three straight titles together from 2000-02, but the Bryant-O'Neal dynasty became dysfunctional as both fought for control with Jackson publicly siding with his All-Star center. It all eventually crumbled in 2004 when O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat.

    Bryant was blamed for the breakup, and as the years passed, his many critics said he couldn't win one by himself. He couldn't, but the addition of Gasol, who came over in a stunning trade from Memphis last season, filled O'Neal's massive void at center and gave Bryant help.

    Fisher, who has four rings himself, came back to L.A. after stints in Golden State and Utah and became a steadying force. If not for his two key 3-pointers in Game 4, this series would still be going.

    The Lakers were anything but The Kobe Show.

    They got help from their entire roster as Odom, Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum, who missed most of last season and the playoffs with a knee injury, came through.

    And even O'Neal, now with the Phoenix Suns, was glad to see the Lakers finish the job.

    "Congratulations kobe, u deserve it,'' O'Neal said on Twitter page. "You played great. Enjoy it my man enjoy it.''


    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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    JIM CLEAMONS PREVIEW

    Lakers Assistant Coach Jim Cleamons joined us today to give us his input as to what the Lakers have to do in Game 5 to secure the win and get that elusive 15th NBA Title for the Lakers.


    COACH SPEAK: JIM CLEAMONS (6:48)
    LAKERS - MAGIC PREVIEW

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Like any couple, they've had their fair share of ups and downs. They've feuded publicly and fought privately. They separated for a year and reunited with an understanding that it was best for both of their careers. They've grown older together.

    Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson have endured.

    Bonded by basketball, the superstar and his contemplative coach are on the cusp of another NBA title

    For Bryant, No. 4.For Jackson, No. 10 -- and one for the record books.

    On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers, seeking their 15th championship and first since 2002, will try to put away the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of a finals in which every game but the opener has been decided by one or two key plays in the closing seconds.

    After a day to decompress following L.A.'s 99-91 overtime win in Game 4, both teams practiced on Saturday at Amway Arena, which because of the 2-3-2 format, will be hosting its final game of the season. The Magic, who have been written off several times in these playoffs, have faith that they can become the first team in finals history to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

    The first 29 failed."We know what's ahead of us," said Orlando center Dwight Howard, whose frightful free-throw shooting (6-of-14) in Game 4 hurt the Magic. "We know what's been said and the situation that we're in. We won't stop believing."

    The Lakers understand what's at hand. They don't want to give life to an Orlando team that has come back before. One year after losing in the finals to Boston, Bryant and his teammates want to finish the job.

    This is the chance Bryant has longed for, the opportunity to silence those who feel he needs a fourth title to validate his legacy. He and the Lakers have not won it all since Shaquille O'Neal left in 2004, shortly after The Big Diesel chugged off in a trade to Miami.

    Bryant swears the he-can't-win-one-without-Shaq argument hasn't bothered him. That's hard to believe. The three straight championships from 2000-02 came so easy. It seemed as though it would take no time for him to win Nos. 4, 5, 6.

    But it's been a long time since the last one. Bryant's seven-year itch.

    A devout student of the game, Bryant knows that championships are what divide the very goods from the greats.Bill Russell won 11 rings. Michael Jordan six. On Saturday, he was asked if Jordan's mark was a number he would like to chase?

    "I'm trying to get this damn fourth one," Bryant said, laughing.

    A rare smile. Throughout much of the series, he has worn a scowl. His kids nicknamed him Grumpy after one of the Seven Dwarfs. He's turning into Happy. On the brink of returning to the top, Bryant seems more at ease, confident.

    He has an appreciation for the journey to each of his three titles. Bryant knows the road well, and he can finally see its end."This one is special because you rarely have the opportunity to get back up to the mountain twice in a career," Bryant said.

    "You have first run and then you hit rock bottom and then you've got to build back up and get back to the top."

    While Bryant embraces the possibility of completing his quest, Jackson is leery of looking too far ahead. That's asking for trouble.

    The cautious coach.

    If the Lakers win, the 64-year-old Jackson will surpass Red Auerbach for the most titles in history. It's a distinction that almost seems to bother Jackson, who won six in Chicago with Jordan and Scottie Pippen running his triangle offense before he took over the Lakers in 1999.

    Even considering the achievement makes him squirm in his flip-flops. Two handfuls of rings is not something the son of a preacher from North Dakota who became a valued role player on two championship teams in New York in the 1970s could have imagined.

    "They say it takes four games to win," Jackson said, "and I just don't want to even talk about anything like that until there's a done deed."

    Jackson spoke with reverence about Auerbach on Saturday. He praised the cigar-smoking legend for savvy trades, making Russell a player/coach and his hoops knowledge. Jackson also called his 1991 arrival in Chicago, when Jordan was coming into his prime as "a real gift for me."

    His second gift was inheriting the O'Neal-Bryant package. But after winning three straight titles, the Lakers' family became dysfunctional. Success splintered the team.

    Bryant craved the ball. But O'Neal got it, and more often than not, Jackson sided with his big man.

    It ended with a messy breakup: O'Neal was traded, Jackson stepped down for the 2004-05 season and Bryant was painted as the villain. Jackson famously ripped the All-Star guard in a diary of the 2003-04 season, titled "The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul."

    But time has healed all the surface wounds and Bryant and Jackson now share a bond built on respect and a common drive to excel.

    While they may not outwardly show it, Bryant and his coach are tighter than ever."

    The second time around it became more of a personal relationship, us having been around each other and then having this new group of guys that we both had to lead,"

    Bryant said. "The relationship has carried over to off the court, whereas in the past it's always just been more of an Xs and Os kind of relationship."Bryant called Jackson's potential trump of Auerbach "phenomenal" and scoffed at the idea he has only won because of talent."

    I can't name one coach that won a championship with a bunch of scrubs," Bryant said. "So that argument makes no sense."

    As for the possibility of playing for anyone but Jackson, who has not outlined his plans beyond this season, Bryant can't consider it."

    I've been spoiled my whole career playing for Phil," he said. "It's hard to imagine playing for anybody else. I grew up with him."


    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

    In order to win this game tonight we must come through with a more solid and consistent effort on the defensive end. Orlando will not just roll over for us to win and celebrate on their home court. We must go out and take this game from them. They continue to hurt us with some of the pick and roll play sets that we have discussed previously. Their “L” play and Their “Chin” play have proven especially difficult to defend. In game four they went to an even simpler format in order to put players in different locations to confuse us, and it did. They ran a simple “13” and “14” sideline screen and roll with Rashard Lewis setting the screen and popping to the three point line. The first time they ran it Alston got to the middle and made a shot in the paint (extremely disappointing because we were trying to keep the ball handler on the left side of the floor – out of the middle). The next time they ran it they got the ball to Lewis who hit the three point shot. Part of what made the action difficult is that the other three players were not just standing spaced on the weakside. They were setting a double screen for the shooter to come out of the corner. Needless to say in the days between games we have addressed this simple action, we have watched it on video, we have walked and run through how we want to deal with it and if we see it tonight in game 5 we should be able to defend it better.

    One of the hardest tasks going into this game is simply our mental focus. It is important to – as Coach Jackson likes to preach – stay in the moment. Derek Fisher pointed out that in 2000 we won game four of the finals in overtime and thought game five was a forgone conclusion. It was not. We lost by 30+ points setting up a hard fought game six. Hopefully we can learn from that history. We do not want to give the Orlando Magic any extra life. In order to finish this we must go back to the basics. Rebounding, communicating on defense and hitting the open man on offense. In high pressure situations like this it is important to have solid fundamental habits to fall back on and tonight we hope that will carry us to the championship.
    Click here to read all of the scouting reports against the Orlando Magic...

    LAKERS UPDATES

    LAKERS IN THE NBA FINALS

  • This is 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 84-87 all-time in the NBA Finals (64-72 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 11-3 all-time in the NBA Finals when holding home court advantage (7-3 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are now 15-15 in Game #1 of the NBA Finals (11-13 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). Game 1 winner in NBA Finals history is 45-17 all-time … In 2-3-2 Finals format, Game 1 winner is 18-7 all-time.
  • The Lakers are now 14-16 in Game #2 of the NBA Finals (12-12 Los Angeles, 2-4 Minneapolis).
  • When winning Game #1 and #2 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 4-1 all-time (3-1 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are now 17-13 in Game #3 of the NBA Finals (12-12 Los Angeles, 5-1 Minneapolis).
  • When leading 2-1, the Lakers are 7-8 in Game #4 of the NBA Finals (5-6 Los Angeles, 2-2 Minneapolis).
  • When leading 2-1 in the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 12-3 all-time (8-3 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are now 11-19 in Game #4 of the NBA Finals (8-15 Los Angeles, 2-4 Minneapolis).
  • When leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 8-0 all-time (5-0 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis).
  • The Lakers are 13-12 all time in Game #5 of the NBA Finals (9-10 Los Angeles, 3-2 Minneapolis).

    UP 3-1 IN THE FINALS
    With the Lakers 99-91 overtime victory over the Magic in Game 4, the Lakers took a 3-1 series lead, marking the 30th time the NBA Finals have been 3-1 after four games. In each of the prior 29 instances, the team leading 3-1 has gone on to win the NBA Championship. This marks the ninth time the Lakers have been up 3-1 in The Finals and when leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Lakers are 8-0 all-time (5-0 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis).

    CLOSING IT OUT
    Entering Sunday’s Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead the Lakers will look to close out the Orlando Magic. When leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Lakers have closed out their opponent in five games three times, in six games six times and have never allowed their opponent to force a game seven.

    With a 3-2 series lead entering Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at Denver, the Lakers defeated the Nuggets 119-92 to advance to the NBA Finals. With the victory, the Lakers closed out an opponent on the FIRST attempt for the 5th time in their last six opportunities. This postseason, the Lakers closed out both the Jazz and Nuggets on the FIRST opportunity but needed two attempts to eliminate the Rockets from the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers Game 6 loss at Houston represents just the THIRD time since 2001 that they have failed to close out an opponent when first given the chance (5/2/06 @ Phoenix, 5/29/04 @ Minnesota). The Lakers have now closed out an opponent on the FIRST try 16 times in their last 19 opportunities dating back to 2001. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have closed out their opponent on the first attempt 16 times in 23 overall opportunities.

    Overall, under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 22-11 in close-out games. The Lakers have won 27 of their last 28 series when holding the opportunity to closeout at any point. Their last series loss when having a close-out game came in 2006 when the Lakers squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, the Lakers had not lost a series when having a close-out game since the 1993 First Round vs. Phoenix in which they led 2-0 before losing the next three.

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