Lakers, Magic start NBA finals tonight

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Lakers, Magic start NBA finals tonight
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Haziran 04, 2009 00:00

ISTANBUL - Los Angeles and Orlando take center stage tonight, with Lakers star Kobe Bryant trying to prove he can win a National Basketball Association title without Shaquille O'Neal and the Magic going for the first championship in franchise history.

The two NBA conference champions have faced plenty of adversity this season to get to the best-of-seven NBA finals showdown. The Lakers haven't won a title since 2002 behind dominant centre and self-proclaimed "Superman" O'Neal. In Orlando they'll face a team with its own "Superman" in Dwight Howard. "If we go hard for 48 minutes every game at the end of the finals we should have a ring. We should have a trophy," said Howard. Howard complained early in the playoffs to coach Stan Van Gundy about not getting the ball enough, then capped his semifinal series with a career playoff high 40-point performance in a 103-90 clinching victory win over Cleveland. The Lakers have 2008 MVP Bryant and are deeper in talent than the they were when they lost in six games to the Boston Celtics last year. But Orlando quashed any hopes of a repeat final between the Celtics and Lakers by beating defending champion Boston in the quarterfinals. "It is an unbelievable feeling," Magic forward Rashard Lewis said.

Meanwhile, Orlando’s star forward Hidayet "Hedo" Türkoğlu will be the second Turk to play in the NBA finals, after Mehmet Okur played the 2004 Finals with the Detroit Pistons.
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