Instant reaction: Lakers 99, Magic 91
Here are some quick and random thoughts after Thursday night’s Game 4: * I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been more upset over a sporting event in my life. Four points in overtime? Really? One field goal? Giving up a five-point lead with 30 seconds left? How does this happen? I’m in shock. I just hope the Magic have more pride than to let the Lakers close it out in Orlando. * Dwight Howard played an absolutely dominant game from start to finish. Blocks, rebounds, shot-alterations, intimidation — does it get any better? Every big man in the league should study tonight’s game tape. Forget the Sportscenter dunks or high-flying swats into the stands, a great big man is made by controlling the paint and the cleaning up the boards. And Dwight understands that. * Trevor Ariza had 13 points, and he did it on about six touches. He’s really become a great shooter. * Forgive me for these notes being a bit shorter than usual, but I was focused so squarely on every move, every possession that I couldn’t concentrate on much else. After the Lakers took the lead in the third quarter, I could not look away. It was one of those painful yet exhilarating games, where every play grows in importance exponentially. My emotions were like a yo-yo. * At one point in the first quarter, D.J. Mbenga had the ball on the block with Tony Battie on his back. Mbenga-Battie in the 2009 NBA Finals. Can you believe it? I just feel bad for the Fortune 500 executive who coughed up $10,000 for a courtside seat to watch Mbenga and Battie battle it out. * Every active player on the Lakers saw the floor in the first half. Apparently Phil Jackson is running a YMCA team.