Last night in going deep into a 1-3 hole in the NBA Finals, the Orlando Magic missed 15 of them while the Lakers missed just five.
No two were more damning that the pair of clunkers Dwight Howard heaved up with 11 seconds left in the game and the Magic leading 87-84. Making just one virtually evens the series 2-2. It was a tough moment for Howard who otherwise had a MONSTER game – 16 points, 21 rebounds and 9 blocked shots.
But the Magic, who had lost game 2 in overtime after failing to execute a game winning fundamental play at the end of regulation, then committed a fatal defensive lapse.
All-star guard Jameer Nelson simply chose not to defend Derek Fisher (who has made the third most three-pointers in NBA playoff history) who tied the game that the Lakers eventually won in overtime (on yet another Fisher three when left unguarded by Nelson).
Howard makes one free throw – or Hedo Turkoglu makes more than one of his last four attempts – and the series is still interesting. The Magic missed a total of seven in the 4th quarter. As it is, it’s over as the teams head back to L.A. for game five.
(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)