Final

Orlando wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Orlando wins series 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, May 20th
Magic107Final
Cavaliers106
Game 2: Friday, May 22nd
Magic95Final
Cavaliers96
Game 3: Sunday, May 24th
Cavaliers89Final
Magic99
Game 4: Tuesday, May 26th
Cavaliers114Final
OT
Magic116
Game 5: Thursday, May 28th
Magic102Final
Cavaliers112
Game 6: Saturday, May 30th
Cavaliers90Final
Magic103

Magic 95

(59-23, 27-14 away)

Cavaliers 96

(66-16, 39-2 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:30 PM ET, May 22, 2009

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 16 28 25 2695
    CLE 30 26 19 2196

    Top Performers

    Orlando: R. Lewis 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Cleveland: L. James 35 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    James' dramatic buzzer-beater drops Magic, evens series at 1-1

    Associated Press

    CLEVELAND -- Michael Jordan no longer has the most famous buzzer-beater in Cleveland sports history.

    The Shot has been topped.

    2009 NBA Playoffs

    Want an in-depth look at the Cavs-Magic series? Check out all the stats, analysis and opinion here:

    • Cavs-Magic page

    LeBron James made one better.

    James dropped a 3-pointer from the top of the key over Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu as the final horn sounded Friday night to give the Cavaliers, their season a heartbeat from major trouble, a 96-95 victory over the Magic that evened the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.

    From 23 feet -- matching his jersey number and Jordan's -- James hit a shot that will go down as one of the defining moments in a career that's just hitting its stride.

    "That guy is not in the league any more," James said of Jordan. "The other 23 is on the good side now."

    Fast Facts

    • The Cavaliers evened the series at a game apiece, improving to 9-1 in the 2009 playoffs.

    • LeBron James hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and finished with 35 points. James now has 27 career 30-point playoff games, the most in the NBA since he made his playoff debut in 2006.

    • Cleveland has won eight of its last nine home playoff games and are 44-3 at home this season overall.

    • James became the third player in NBA playoff history to compile at least 300 points, 80 rebounds and 60 assists in the first 10 games of a single postseason (he has now done this twice).

    • The loss snapped a two-game road win streak for the Magic dating back to last series.

    • Dwight Howard had 10 points and 18 rebounds for Orlando, his 15th straight playoff double-double.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Taking the inbounds pass from Mo Williams, James only had time to turn his shoulders toward the rim and fire. As the high-arcing shot dropped through, James sprinted into the arms of his delirious teammates as 20,562 stunned fans hugged in disbelief.

    "You couldn't hear anything but a roar," James said. "Those fans deserved it. That was the biggest shot I've made in my career."

    In the past, this was the kind of shot that happened against the Cavs. Jordan's jumper in 1989 over Craig Ehlo eliminated Cleveland from the playoffs -- a punch-in-the-stomach moment burned into the psyche of every Cleveland fan.

    Well, James is changing everything around here.

    Game 3 is Sunday night in Orlando, where the Magic beat the Cavaliers twice this season and thumped them by 29 points on April 3.

    One second before James' shot, Turkoglu hit a 12-footer in the lane to give the Magic, who overcame a 23-point deficit in the first half, a 95-93 lead. Cleveland called a timeout and set up a play for James, the league's MVP who finished with 35 points.

    James darted toward the basket to get some room on Turkoglu and cut back near the top of the circle before letting loose with the shot of his life. After seeing James' only 3-pointer of the game fall, Williams dropped to his knees and pounded the floor with his right hand as Quicken Loans Arena shook to its core.

    "I was punch drunk," Williams said. "I was stuck. I couldn't move."

    Officials looked at the replay to make sure it should count.

    30 Rock

    LeBron James has been a rocking success in the playoffs. The Cleveland star recorded his 27th 30-point game in the postseason Friday, extending his league-leading tally among active players since 2006 (his first year in the playoffs).

    Most 30-Point Playoff Games Since 2006 Playoffs
    Player Games
    LeBron James 27
    Kobe Bryant 25
    Dirk Nowitzki 16
    Dwyane Wade 14

    There was no doubt.

    "We just couldn't afford to go down 0-2," James said. "That's just a great shot. Now we have to get ready for Game 3. There's a lot to clean up."

    Rashard Lewis scored 23 points and Turkoglu had 21 for the Magic. Dwight Howard scored 10 -- 20 below his Game 1 performance -- and added 18 rebounds.

    Williams had 19 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland.

    "Wow. I seen it before, Hedo has hit big shot after big shot in the regular season and I had to match him shot for shot," James said. "Rashard Lewis hit the game-winner in Game 1 and I matched it in Game 2.

    "I knew it was good," James said of his shot, "but you never know. The camera never lies and they had to go check it out."

    Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy was upset with his decision to guard James on the last play.

    "That one obviously hurts quite a bit," he said. "I'd like to have that last one back from a coaching standpoint," he said. "I should have defended it differently. It's crushing enough to lose as a coach, but when you feel like you're the guy who could've made the difference, it hurts a lot more.

    "I just want to win and we should have won."

    Like the hand powder James famously blows above his head before every game, Cleveland's season was on the verge of disappearing into thin air.

    Their offense out of whack and their defense not up to its usual standards, the Cavaliers let the Magic overcome a huge deficit for the second straight game.

    Turkoglu's 3-pointer with 48.7 seconds left had tied it 93-93, and the Cavs appeared to take the lead on James' left-handed layup over Howard. But he was called for traveling, one of several calls that could have gone either way in a second half filled with whistles.

    "That walk -- great call by the refs," James said, "glad I had a chance to redeem myself."

    Turkoglu's shot over Sasha Pavlovic, who gave the Cavs a lift off the bench with nine points, had Cleveland fans reliving all those moments of sports heartbreak -- Jordan's Shot, John Elway's Drive, The Fumble -- that have led to the city's 45-year championship drought.

    James, though, the kid from down the Interstate in nearby Akron, restored their confidence that this might finally be Cleveland's season.

    Down by 23 in the second quarter the Magic were within 12 at halftime.

    By the end of the third they had cut it to six, and when Lewis backed down Delonte West and scored on a short jumper with 6:12 left, Orlando had tied it at 84-all.

    The Cavaliers' offense wasn't particularly efficient, but it was effective. Their defense was spectacular.

    Unlike Game 1, the Magic struggled to get the ball deep in the lane to Howard. And when the All-Star center did touch it near the basket, he had a man between himself and the rim and sometimes two other Cleveland defenders pestering him from behind.

    Game notes


    The officials missed what should have been a technical foul on Williams in the first quarter for throwing the ball at Howard's back. ... Before the game, James was asked if he could guard Howard. "No," he said. "I did a couple times at practice with the USA (Olympic) Team. It didn't work out too well for me. I tried to use my strength and it didn't work out." ... An elderly man was taken for medical treatment after Williams crashed into him while chasing a loose ball. As the fan was being transported from the floor in a wheelchair, Williams came over and put his arm around him. The man was back in his seat after halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ORL
    CLE
    Points 95 96
    FGM-FGA 34-71 (.479) 35-77 (.455)
    3PM-3PA 10-23 (.435) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 17-25 (.680) 21-26 (.808)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-30 8-38
    Assists 16 17
    Turnovers 12 14
    Steals 6 5
    Blocks 7 4
    Fast Break Points 6 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 23

    Top Performers

    Orlando
    Cleveland
    Rashard Lewis Lewis
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 35
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0