Los Angeles Lakers win NBA championshipJune 15th, 2009 - 11:44 am ICT by IANS
Los Angeles, June 15 (DPA) The long, gruelling journey for Los Angeles was over Sunday as the Lakers reclaimed the NBA championship in a 99-86 victory over Orlando Magic.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 30 points, Lamar Odom had 17 with 10 rebounds off the bench and the visiting Lakers beat the Orlando Magic Sunday night to win the best-of-seven Finals series four games to one.
The Lakers lost last year’s Finals to the Boston Celtics in six games, but the Western Conference champions returned this year to beat Utah, Houston, and Denver before taking out Orlando for the 15th title in the history of the storied franchise.
Bryant had worn a scowl of seriousness and intensity throughout the last two weeks, but the superstar was all smiles after adding another page to his legacy, winning his fourth championship and first since he and former teammate Shaquille ONeal carried the Lakers to three straight to start the millennium.
It also sent Phil Jackson into the NBA record books with his 10th ring, passing Boston’s legendary Red Auerbach as the all-time coaching leader in championships. Jackson guided the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls to six rings during the 1990s and another four with the Lakers.
Dwight Howard had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando. The Magic won the East by beating Boston and Cleveland, but fell into an insurmountable 3-1 hole, including two heart-breaking overtime defeats to drop to 0-2 in Finals appearances.
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