June 14, 2009
In the end, Los Angeles' defense was just as up to the task as Los Angeles' vaunted offense. The team circled the wagons after Orlando busted out with a 28-point first quarter. Orlando's screen-and-roll attack was barely a factor, as the Lakers' spacing and efficient perimeter shooting on the other end made this a one-sided game by halftime.
Kobe Bryant(notes) finished with 30 points, five assists, and four blocks, but in spite of a series of jaw-dropping drives and perimeter looks, he was merely a brilliant part of the championship puzzle. Pau Gasol's(notes) defense in the interior was a huge part of Dwight Howard's(notes) limited effectiveness in the paint, and Trevor Ariza's(notes) 12-point second quarter helped turn a close game into a Lakers walk.
We'll have more quotes and analysis live from Orlando as the night moves along, but for now, pop a cork, and don't turn over a car, Los Angeles. Your hometown team is a champion, once again.