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Los Angeles Lakers rally past Orlando Magic in Game 5 of NBA Finals

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ORLANDO — Kobe Bryant is one win from an NBA title to call his own.

Derek Fisher got him there.

Fisher forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation and made the go-ahead 3 with 31.3 seconds to go in overtime as the Lakers outlasted the Magic 99-91 in Game 4 on Thursday night to open a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

It was the first time since 1984, when Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics hooked up, that two games in a Finals have gone to overtime.

When the clock expired, Bryant, trying to win his first championship without Shaquille O'Neal, looked at Tiger Woods in the stands and wiped sweat from his brow in relief. Fisher thrust his arms in the air in triumph.

The Lakers can wrap up their 15th title on Sunday night in Game 5.

"My teammates and coaches give me confidence to believe in myself,'' Fisher, 34, said. "And when you play with No. 24 (Bryant), he gets a lot of the attention from the defense.''

Bryant had 32 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Trevor Ariza and Pau Gasol each had 16 for Los Angeles, which came back from a 12-point halftime deficit. Ariza had 13 of the Lakers' 30 points in the third quarter.

The Lakers are 7-0 after a loss in this postseason.

Dwight Howard played well everywhere but at the free-throw line. Orlando's center had 16 points, 21 rebounds and a Finals-record nine blocks. But he made just 6 of 14 free throws, and it was his two misses with 11.1 seconds to go in regulation that left the door open for Fisher to tie it.

Fisher pulled up and without hesitating dropped a 3-pointer over Orlando's Jameer Nelson with 4.6 seconds left to tie it at 87.

"I was just going to take over and kind of survey the situation, but Nelson was giving me a lot of space, and I like to step into those 3s," Fisher said. "Even though I wasn't making them, I felt like I could do that. I felt good to help the team that way."

Fisher missed his first five 3s.

Howard's misses brought back memories of the Magic's only other Finals appearance, when Nick Anderson missed four consecutive free throws at the end of Game 1 in 1995. Orlando never recovered and was swept 4-0 by the Rockets.

Just as in Game 2, Orlando had one final try, and this time guard Courtney Lee, who misfired on a layup in the Game 2 loss, wasn't on the floor. The Magic inbounded to Mickael Pietrus, who missed a long, contested jumper.

Bryant scored two quick baskets in overtime, and Howard tied it when he split two free throws with 1:27 remaining.

On L.A.'s next trip, Ariza grabbed his miss and Fisher lined up and drilled his 3-pointer to make it 94-91.

As Orlando called a timeout, the Lakers bench stormed onto the court and surrounded Fisher, who came back to the team after a short stint in Utah.

Only eight NBA teams have come back from a 3-1 hole in a best-of-seven series.

Bryant (707) passed Dennis Johnson (676) for 16th on the Finals scoring list. Next up is Bob Pettit (709)

L.A. LAKERS (99) — Ariza 6-14 1-2 16, Gasol 7-14 2-4 16, Bynum 2-3 2-2 6, Fisher 5-11 0-0 12, Bryant 11-31 8-8 32, Odom 4-10 0-0 9, Mbenga 0-0 0-0 0, Farmar 0-2 0-0 0, Walton 2-2 2-4 6, Powell 1-2 0-0 2,

Vujacic 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-91 15-20 99.

ORLANDO (91) — Turkoglu 8-13 8-13 25, Lewis 2-10 0-0 6, Howard 5-12 6-14 16, Alston 5-13 0-0 11, Lee 1-4 1-2 4, Pietrus 4-8 6-7 15, Battie 1-3 0-0 2, Redick 2-6 1-1 6, Nelson 1-3 0-0 2, Gortat 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 31-74 22-37 91.

L.A. Lakers2017302012—99

Orlando242514244—91

3-Point GoalsL.A. Lakers 8-23 (Ariza 3-4, Bryant 2-6, Fisher 2-7, Odom 1-2, Vujacic 0-2, Farmar 0-2), Orlando 7-21 (Lewis 2-6, Pietrus 1-2, Redick 1-2, Turkoglu 1-3, Alston 1-4, Lee 1-4). Fouled OutNone. Rebounds—L.A. Lakers 51 (Gasol 10), Orlando 65 (Howard 21). AssistsL.A. Lakers 15 (Bryant 8), Orlando 17 (Lewis 4). Total FoulsL.A. Lakers 28, Orlando 21. TechnicalsAriza, Gasol, L.A. Lakers Coach Jackson, Pietrus, Orlando defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Pietrus.

Los Angeles Lakers rally past Orlando Magic in Game 5 of NBA Finals 06/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 12, 2009 7:56am]
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