The Lakers took control of the NBA Finals in Game 2,with a 101-96 overtime win Sunday.But they did not control this gamelike Game 1—in fact, a missedlayup by Orlando’s Courtney Lee atthe end of regulation could havetied the series.“We did some things bettertonight,” said point guard JameerNelson.“And we’ll be better at home.” Three numbers stand out thatgive the Magic hope of gettingback into the series:
The Lakers’ points in thepaint, down from 56 in Game 1. TheMagic’s interior defense was muchbetter in Game 2.
The Magic’s fast-break points, and Orlando can’t win thatway. In front of their fans, theyshould have a better opportunityto speed the tempo.
The number of turnoversthe team forced Kobe Bryant intomaking—the defense on Bryantwas very solid for the Magic, whogave up 40 points to Bryant in theopener.
— Sean Deveney
Lakers in control,but it’s not over yet
Lakers impose their will,
Lakers F Pau Gasol took control inovertime, scoring 7 of his 24 points.
MONDAYJUNE 8, 2009SEE A DIFFERENT GAMEVOLUME 1 ISSUE 321
L.A. Lakers 101, Orlando 96, OT
(Lakers lead series 2-0)
Detroit 9, L.A. Angels 6N.Y. Yankees 4, Tampa Bay 3Toronto 4, Kansas CIty 0Texas 6, Boston 3Cleveland 8, Chicago White Sox 4Oakland 3, Baltimore 0Seattle 4, Minnesota 2
Chicago Cubs 6, Cincinnati 3, 14 inningsAtlanta 8, Milwaukee 7N.Y. Mets 7, Washington 0Houston 6, Pittsburgh 4Colorado 7, St. Louis 2Arizona 9, San Diego 6, 18 inningsFlorida 3, San Diego 2Philadelphia 7, L.A. Dodgers 2
MLB>16 NFL>26 NBA>8 NHL>11 NASCAR>31 COLLEGE FOOTBALL>14 COLLEGE BASKETBALL>15 GOLF>33 MLB DRAFT>5
Alex Rodriguez wants to makeheadlines for what happens on thefield, not in the nightclubs. So far,pretty good.Since A-Rod’s return from hipsurgery, theYankees are a big-league best20-8 and havemoved from fourthto first in the A.L.East. WhileA-Rod’s battingaverage is alukewarm.255, hehas supplied eighthomers, 23 RBIs and posted a .407OBP. Beyond the numbers, hispresence in the lineup has lifted theentire club.“We’re very pleased with how weare playing,” G.M. Brian Cashmansaid. “The pitchers are going deep(into games), we’re playing gooddefense, getting offensive contribu-tions from a lot of guys.”“Now that we’ve got most of ourguys back (from injuries), thatcamaraderie we talked about all springis back as well,’’ Nick Swisher added.The Yankees are reason Nos. 1 and2 that baseball’s spotlight will focuson New Yorkers this week.
1. Seeking revenge at Fenway
After finishing with the Raystoday, the Yankees travel to Bostonlooking to end an 0-5 skid againstthe Red Sox. Tuesday’s openermatches former Marlins mates A.J.Burnett and Josh Beckett. In theirfirst such encounter, both weredreadful. Each allowed eight runs infive innings in Boston’s 16-11 victory.Key for the Yankees: Slowing Jason Bay. He’s hitting .556 withthree homers and 10 RBIs in the fivemeetings.
2. Resumption of interleague
Two reasons the Mets will bedisadvantaged when they visit newYankee Stadium as interleague play begins its 17-day run on Friday:They don’t hit homers (their totalof 34 ranks 28th), which could be aproblem when playing in the majors’No. 1 homer haven (100 in 28 games).They are banged up. The Mets arewithout Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgadoand J.J. Putz, and will be for weeksto come.
3. World Series champs visit N.Y.
Despite all the injuries, the Mets arein position to catch first-place Phila-delphia at Citi Field this week. ThePhillies have their own problems, beginning with closer Brad Lidge. Healready has six blown saves, which issix more than all of last year.
L.A. Lakers 101,Orlando 96, OT
BASEBALL: THE WEEK AHEAD
The A-Rod effect
Yankees’ recent surge headlinesbig week of baseball in Big Apple
Though his average isn’t outstanding, the Yankees are 20-8 with Alex Rodriguez in the lineup.
One-on-one withthe ol’ ball coach
Steve Spurrier talks aboutSouth Carolina’s QBsituation and his future inColumbia,
NFL coach rankings
Belichick leads our list of theleague’s 32 head men