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L.A. Lakers beat Orlando Magic 101-96 in OT in Game 2 of NBA Finals

LOS ANGELES — Lucky to have a second chance Sunday, the Lakers grabbed it. Now they are in control of the NBA Finals.

Magic rookie Courtney Lee missed a winning layup as regulation ended, giving Los Angeles another shot it didn't waste. Pau Gasol scored seven in overtime as Los Angeles, so dominant in Game 1, beat Orlando 101-96.

"There is a sense of relief because they played very well," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "There's no doubt they had every opportunity or chance to win."

If Orlando doesn't come back in this series, it will regret Lee's missed layup.

"We missed it. I don't know what else to say," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We executed well. Hedo (Turkoglu) made a great pass. I'm not trying to be a pain. Hedo made a great pass and (Lee) just missed it."

Orlando might not get a better shot to beat the Lakers.

"We blew a lot of assignments — a lot of assignments — and we still managed to get a win," said Bryant, who led the Lakers with 29 points.

When it was finally over, Derek Fisher and the Lakers jogged to the locker room, smiling and high-fiving fans along the way.

Turkoglu trudged through the tunnel dejected, a towel hanging from his head.

Gasol added 24 and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who won Game 1 by 25. His biggest play was stripping Dwight Howard to begin overtime, leading to his two free throws.

The loss came on the 14th anniversary of Orlando's Finals debut — an equally painful one. Poised to beat the defending champion Rockets in Game 1, Nick Anderson bricked four consecutive free throws and Orlando ended up losing 120-118 in overtime.

With the score 88-88 in regulation, Lee missed the first of two late shots when he drove the lane and missed a contested layup with 10.5 seconds left.

The Lakers called time with 9.1 seconds to play, and after Odom caught the inbounds pass, he quickly gave it to Bryant, who drove into a crowd. Bryant attempted an off-balance 12-footer, but his shot was blocked from behind by Turkoglu with 1.8 seconds left.

The horn sounded. But the officials huddled and decided to put 0.6 seconds back on the clock because Turkoglu grabbed the ball and called timeout.

Turkoglu couldn't find anyone open on the inbounds and was forced to call another timeout. On the Magic's second attempt, Lee got free on a perfectly executed play and caught Turkoglu's long lob pass as he neared the left side of the basket. But with 7-foot Gasol closing in on him, Lee's shot caromed off the backboard and front of the rim.

Howard dunked in the miss as Lee put his hands behind his head in disbelief and began a long walk back to the bench as his teammates consoled him.

The Magic, which looked more relaxed than in the opener, will head home thinking about what might have been. It could be tied 1-1. And with the next three games scheduled in front of its frenzied fans, Orlando could have denied the Lakers a 15th title.

So close. So far.

ORLANDO (96): Turkoglu 8-17 3-4 22, Lewis 12-21 4-4 34, Howard 5-10 7-9 17, Alston 1-8 2-2 4, Lee 1-3 0-0 2, Pietrus 1-3 0-0 2, Gortat 1-4 2-4 4, Redick 2-9 0-0 5, Nelson 1-3 2-4 4, Battie 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 33-79 20-27 96.

L.A. LAKERS (101): Ariza 3-13 0-0 8, Gasol 7-14 10-11 24, Bynum 2-5 1-1 5,

Fisher 4-9 2-2 12, Bryant 10-22 8-10 29, Odom 8-9 3-4 19, Walton 0-0 0-0 0, Farmar 2-5 0-0 4, Vujacic 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-78 24-28 101.

Orlando152030238—96 L.A. Lakers1525232513—101

3-Point GoalsOrlando 10-30 (Lewis 6-12, Turkoglu 3-6, Redick 1-6, Pietrus 0-1, Nelson 0-1, Alston 0-4), L.A. Lakers 5-15 (Fisher 2-3, Ariza 2-6, Bryant 1-4, Farmar 0-1, Vujacic 0-1). Fouled OutPietrus. ReboundsOrlando 55 (Howard 16), L.A. Lakers 44 (Gasol 10). AssistsOrlando 22 (Lewis 7), L.A. Lakers 20 (Bryant 8). Total FoulsOrlando 24, L.A. Lakers 25. A18,997 (18,997).

Lakers 101

Magic 96

OVERTIME

L.A. Lakers beat Orlando Magic 101-96 in OT in Game 2 of NBA Finals 06/07/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 7:57am]

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