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Orlando return to finals with win over Lakers in game three

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-10

Orlando Magic have paved the way to a comeback in the 2009 NBA finals after winning their first match over the Los Angeles Lakers (108-104) in game three. Game four is scheduled for Thursday in Orlando.

AFP - Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Rafer Alston had 20 points to power Orlando to a 108-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in game three of the NBA finals on Tuesday.

 

Rashard Lewis scored 19 points for the Magic who shot a staggering 75 percent in the first half and avoided a sweep in the best-of-seven series.

 

The Magic's win spoiled a superb performance by Kobe Bryant who put on a shooting clinic in the first half by scoring 21 points en route to his game-high 31.

 

Game four is Thursday in Orlando.

 

The Lakers are in the finals for the 30th time in franchise history while the Magic are making just their second appearance in 14 years.

 

The Magic won their first finals game in franchise history by shooting a blistering 62.5 percent from the field. They had five players in double figures in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,461 at Amway Arena.

 

The Magic led by five points at halftime and 81-75 at the end of the third quarter.

 

Orlando guard Mickael Pietrus helped seal the win with two crucial free throws with 28 seconds left to make it 106-102. Pietrus had a strong fourth quarter with 10 points.

 

Bryant had a chance to make a three-pointer with 22 seconds left that would have cut the Orlando lead to one but his long-range shot hit the rim and bounced off.

 

Date created : 2009-06-10

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