Resilient Magic take Game 3

The Magic shot a Finals-record 62.5% from the field, but amazingly enough, they only won by four, 108-104. Still, a win is a win and the Magic have to feel good about how they played in Game 3.

Orlando had five players score 18-plus points: Dwight Howard (21 points, 14 rebounds), Rashard Lewis (21), Rafer Alston (20), Hedo Turkoglu (18) and Mickael Pietrus (18). Pietrus gave the Magic a big lift in the fourth quarter with a terrific follow-up dunk (that was actually a goaltend) and a key steal with less than 0:30 to play and the Magic nursing a two-point lead.

Orlando really moved the ball well and was able to get good shot after good shot, save for a stretch in the fourth quarter where the Lakers erased the Magic’s nine-point lead.

Kobe Bryant was as hot as a pistol in the first half, scoring 21 points in the first two periods, but he really struggled down the stretch. He was just 4 of 9 from the free throw line and turned the ball over four times. He finished with 31 points, eight assists and five boards. Pau Gasol chipped in with 23 points on 9-11 shooting. He is in such a groove in the post and the Lakers aren’t going to him enough.

The Magic are still very much in this series. They need to take this one game at a time and not think about the daunting task of winning three games in a row at home. They’ve already proven they can outplay the Lakers in Los Angeles, so if they can get two more wins in Orlando, the series will be very interesting. If the Lakers come back to L.A. up 3-2, the series is all but over.

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