Nine years ago today, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson finally vanquished their old demons and buried them.
A well-rounded effort pushed the Los Angeles Lakers past the Orlando Magic, 99-86, to bag their 15th title in their second consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
Kobe Bryant was at the forefront of the attack with 30 points, while four other Lakers scored in double-digits as they beat their rivals in front of a hostile crowd rooting for the home team to extend the series.
16: After hitting a pair of clutch threes in regulation and overtime in Game 4, Derek Fisher came up big again for the Lakeshow. The guard was a team-high plus-16 in 32 minutes and had 13 points.
89: Bryant look hell-bent on nailing that title, and it showed on defense. He bannered a defensive rating of 89 and tallied two steals and four blocks in the win.
95: Andrew Bynum was a monster when he played, but he didn’t see the court as often as he would have liked during the team’s ’09 Finals run. He only played a total of 95 minutes (18.9 minutes in five games) and had 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds.
11: ‘Superman’ was neutralized and came up short when Orlando needed him most. He only scored 11 points, but he did grab 10 rebounds and block three shots.
He averaged 15.4 points, 15.2 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals on 48.8 percent shooting.
33: Three-point shooting was Orlando’s strength, but the Lakers seemed to have learned from the prior year’s lessons and kept their opponents in check from beyond the arc. The Magic attempted 115 threes (LA threw up 86) but they only made 33 percent of their shots.
JJ Redick paced the team with a 45.5 percent shooting clip.
64.7: Kobe Bryant was the man for LA, but he wouldn’t get there without Pau Gasol. The Spaniard had a 64.7 effective field goal percentage and towered against the Magic’s bigs on offense. He scored 18.6 points per game and shot 60.0 percent from the field. Gasol also grabbed 9.2 rebounds, handed out 2.2 assists and blocker 1.8 shots per game.
7.4: Bryant led the team in assists in every game and handed out 7.4 assists per game for the series.
29.6: Orlando shot just 29.6 percent from downtown, and the nerves appeared to get to them. Rashard Lewis (who knocked down 40 percent of his treys in the finals) missed nine out of his 12 attempts from range.
11: This was Phil Jackson’s 11th title at the time, surpassing Red Auerbach for most as a coach.
4: Four Lakers averaged more than a steal per game; Trevor Ariza (1.8), Bryant (1.4), Fisher (1.2) and Odom (1.0). Howard (1.6) led Orlando.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)