Boxing betting players would respect Game 3 of the NBA Finals, as it feature two teams going punch for punch and blow for blow, but ultimately it was Los Angeles’ mistakes that cost them the win. Game 4 goes Thursday night at Amway Arena, and the Magic are the offshore sportsbook favorites at home, but with less of a point spread than Game 3.
NBA Finals Odds – Thursday, June 10, 9:00 PM ET
To say the Magic were on fire in Game 3’s 108-104 win is like saying The Beatles sold a few records, as they shot a Finals-record 62.5% from the floor, as well as a 75% clip in the first half, which was another record. Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard led the way with 21 points each, but the improved guard play was the key to victory as Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus combined to score 38 points. Pietrus’ 18 points was very important as the Magic bench were badly outplayed by their Laker counterparts in Los Angeles.
Even as well as the Magic shot, the Lakers still had every chance to pull out the win, but a strange performance from Kobe Bryant, of all people, destroyed their chances. Bryant scored 31 points, but only 10 after halftime, and he missed five of the Lakers’ 10 free throws. He also turned the ball over a late possession with the Lakers down by two, and you would think that a player with the label of the “best closer in the NBA” would come through, but we all have our off days. Pau Gasol had 23 points, while Trevor Ariza chipped in with 13 points for the Lakers.
NBA Finals odds have the Magic as a 2.5-point favorite, and this is a huge game. The Lakers win, they go up 3-1 with two of the last three possible games in Los Angeles. Orlando ties it up at two games each, and it turns into a best-of-three series. Two things should happen in Game 4: Bryant will come out as focused as he’s ever been to make up for his Game 3 mistakes, and the Magic won’t shoot over 60% from the field again. They were clearly ecstatic to get back to Orlando, and they were powered by adrenaline, but that only lasts a game. Expect the Lakers’ class to come to the forefront in Game 4.
NBA Finals odds pick: Lakers