Prior to the 2009 Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic, it wasn't crazy to consider the Cavs as the favourites.
They had LeBron James - a couple of weeks off winning his first career league MVP award. Not to mention the fact that the Cavaliers were coming off two sweeps in the previous rounds - vs. Detroit Pistons (First Round) and the Atlanta Hawks (Conference Semifinals) - after winning a franchise-best 66 wins in the regular season.
Despite all of that, the Magic pulled off an upset in Game 1. It was a 107-106 win that was sealed by a Rashard Lewis three in the final seconds of the game.
So, coming into Game 2, James and the Cavaliers were expected to take care of business and level the series. They certainly started off strong, jumping to a 30-16 first-quarter lead led by eight from LeBron James including this thunderous transition dunk:
Bron on the break! 😤@KingJames x #NBATogetherLive pic.twitter.com/7YbgmDU0KV- NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2020
The hosts, led for nearly 44 of the 48 minutes of the game, leading by their maximum of 23 with 7:12 left in the second quarter. From then, the Orlando Magic slowly but steadily cut into the lead.
At halftime, the lead was down to 12 (56-44) and it came down to six (75-69) leading into the final quarter.
Behind nine points from Hedo Turkoglu, including five in the final minute, the Magic led the game 95-93 with just one second remaining
🚨 HEDO DOES IT AGAIN 🚨- NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2020
Hedo Turkoglu's jumper puts the @OrlandoMagic up! #NBATogetherLive pic.twitter.com/tj6fYrlijZ
Then, coming out of a timeout, James knocked down his first playoff buzzer-beating game-winner and gave the Cavaliers a 96-95 Game 2 win.
"For 3, for the win... YES! LEBRON JAMES!!"@KingJames WINS IT at the BUZZER‼️#NBATogetherLive #TissotBuzzerBeater pic.twitter.com/SU0unISIJn- NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2020
"We just couldn't afford to go down 0-2," James said in the on-court postgame interview. He finished with a game-high 35 points to go along with his five assists and four rebounds while playing 43 minutes of the game.
Watch the full game below:
Following this game, the Cavaliers were only able to win one game (Game 5) in this series as the Magic advanced to the 2009 NBA Finals by winning the Conference Finals in six games.
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