After a slow start, not only did Kobe score 18 points just in the first half, but came back after halftime to swoop another 18 just in the third quarter. Early foul trouble gave Dwight Howard some bench time, but his team didn't need him to continue their efforts. Known for their resiliency, Orlando failed to step up their game and let the Lakers gain a 20 point lead before the end of the third. With a strong defense and an offense shooting at 46%, it was a complete Magic slaughtering.
With Kobe playing like the Black Mamba he is, and Odom, Bynum, and Gasol by his sides, the Lakers played smart, confident, and aggressive. The sweetest part of this playoff, most would argue, is the come back from last post-season when the Lakers were robbed by the Celtics. But tonight, the boys played like they had nothing to prove; they loved every minute of the game and looked like they thoroughly enjoyed kicking the Magic's asses tonight. Players stepped out of their comfort zones, took risks, and worked hard and cohesively toward tonight's victory. Not one player didn't perform tonight, most notably (in my opinion tonight) was Luke Walton's triumphant return to the court this round... and Gasol's outside fades weren't that bad either.