LAKERS TAKE OUT THE MAGIC IN “OT” AGAIN…

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Derek Fisher helped the Lakers to within one win of their fourth NBA title this decade, downing the Magic 99-91 in Game Four of the NBA Finals in Orlando today.

The veteran point guard drained a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds to go in regulation time to tie the game at 87-87, sending the teams into an extra period.

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Fisher then broke a 91-91 deadlock with less than two minutes to play with another long-range shot, all but sealing the victory for the visitors.

Each of the three preceding games of this series were won by the home team but the Lakers, who had the best away record of the regular season, prevailed in Game Four.

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The home team took advantage of Los Angeles big men Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Lamar Odom getting in early foul trouble, racing to its first double-digit lead of the series off a Rashard Lewis three-pointer.

With a motley crew of Lakers on the floor, Orlando ran circles around the smaller defence in the first period, with Dwight Howard cleaning up under the boards with 11 rebounds.

The Magic bench unit also held its own, with JJ Redick, Marcin Gortat and Michael Pietrus all combining to maintain a 12-point lead at the long break.

But Orlando looked shaky after the break, scoring just 14 points to Los Angeles’ 30 in the third as they lost much of their offensive advantage after halftime.

Orlando’s woes were caused primarily by Trevor Ariza in the third period, who put on 13 points to narrow the deficit and overtake the Magic.

Once again the Magic struggled to maintain possession, turning over the basketball a shocking 15 times to the Lakers’ six.

Dwight Howard was the main offender, committing seven turnovers himself in what was a disappointing attacking game for the big centre.

He finished with 10 points, 21 rebounds and 10 blocks in a stunning defensive triple-double, but it was not enough to stop the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant had a game reminiscent of Wednesday’s contest, this time scoring 13 of Los Angeles’ 20 points in the first quarter but then only making 32 for the rest of the game.

In Game Three, he made 17 of the Lakers’ final 19 first-period points but finished with 31.

Los Angeles has the opportunity to win its 15-th championship on Monday morning (Australian time) when it plays Game Five in Orlando.`

The Magic have never won a title.

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