Determined Kobe Leads Lakers in Game One
There was a stretch in Game One of the 2009 NBA Finals where it turned the match into a mismatch: The Los Angeles Lakers were protecting an 11-point lead roughly five minutes into the third quarter. They led by 10 points after the half-time break and the Orlando Magic were trying to shave as much points in that lead. At that point, no team was establishing control in the third quarter… until Kobe Bryant happened.
Kobe’s dagger was a pull-up jumper from 14 feet, with his defender Mickeal Pietrus planted on the floor and could only foul to stop the Black Mamba. The three-point play led to a 14-2 run to turn an 11-point lead into a 23-point cushion that the Lakers will not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
As a fan, I was proud of the determination and hunger the Lakers showed in the game. You can feel that for Game One, they wanted it more than the Magic– Kobe was determined to crush the spirits of the Magic players that he went back to the fourth quarter. He broke the Magic’s defense with his first 40-point Finals game, but Kobe demoralized the Magic with his unstoppable game.
If the Lakers and Kobe show this focus to defeat the seemingly stunned Orlando team, this will be a short series. Kobe knows that the Magic will make adjustments, but he will be prepared and single-minded in his quest for his fourth championship ring.
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