Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Lakers are halfway to their 15th championship thanks to Pau Gasol's dominance in overtime in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Gasol scored seven of his 24 points in the extra session and finished with 10 rebounds, powering Los Angeles to a 101-96 victory over Orlando at the Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and dished out eight assists, none bigger than one that led to a crucial three-point play by Gasol to cap a seven-point LA run in OT.
Lamar Odom tallied 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Lakers, who took the opener, 100-75, on Thursday and then sank their last 14 foul shots on Sunday to hold on for the win.
Rashard Lewis poured in 34 points for the Magic, while Hedo Turkoglu added 22 points in defeat. Dwight Howard totaled 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. Howard also had four steals, but accounted for seven of Orlando's 20 turnovers. That led to 28 Lakers points.
Lewis also had 11 rebounds and seven assists while shooting 12-of-21 from the field.
The series shifts to Orlando for Game 3 on Tuesday.
The Magic, who have never won a Finals game, had a chance to pull out the win at the end of regulation, but Courtney Lee missed a layup off an inbounds pass.
Turkoglu hit a long-range jumper just before the shot clock was to expire, giving Orlando an 88-86 edge with 47.7 seconds left. Gasol then scored inside for the Lakers 14 seconds later, but Lee actually missed two crucial shots down the stretch for Orlando. First, he drove past Gasol into the lane with the shot clock running down, but the ball clanked off the back of the rim.
Odom got the rebound with 9.1 seconds left, and out of a timeout Bryant drove to the lane, but his shot was blocked from behind by Turkoglu. That gave Orlando the ball back with 0.6 seconds left.
Turkoglu then tried an inbounds lob to Lee, who got behind the defense, but the alley-oop layup didn't fall as time expired.
Howard's three-point play gave the Magic a 91-90 lead less than two minutes into OT, but the Lakers came back with the next seven points. Bryant's tough shot from the right baseline gave the hosts the lead. Derek Fisher stole a bad bounce pass from J.J. Redick, was fouled and sank both free throws for a three-point edge.
Turkoglu had a shot go in and out of the basket, and Bryant drove the lane before feeding Gasol for a layup. The free throw, which occurred thanks to a foul on Rafer Alston, boosted the lead to 97-91 with 1:14 remaining.
The Magic got as close as three points, at 99-96, on a Lewis three-ball from the left corner with 28.2 seconds remaining, but Odom sank two foul shots to seal the victory.
Bryant, who had 40 points in the opener, took five shots in the first half, which turned out to be a display of anemic offenses as the teams combined for the lowest-scoring first quarter in Finals history.
Orlando continued to struggle from the field, a carryover from the opener when the Magic hit at a 29.9 percent clip. They were 12-of-37 through the first 24 minutes of Game 2.
The game was tied at 15 after the first quarter. The old record for fewest combined points in an opening quarter was 31 between the Lakers and Boston in 1969 in Game 4 of that series.
In the second, back-to-back three-pointers from Trevor Ariza and Fisher moved the hosts to a 32-26 lead. Another three-ball, this one from Bryant, expanded the cushion to 36-29. Gasol's dunk in the closing seconds represented the final points of the half for a 40-35 LA lead.
It was tight throughout the third quarter and Turkoglu's jumper in the closing seconds moved the Magic to a 65-63 lead entering the fourth. Neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter.
Game Notes: Fisher scored 12 points...Lakers starting center Andrew Bynum had five points, but was saddled with five fouls...Before the game, the NBA announced the 2011 All-Star Game will be held at the Staples Center...The Magic, who finished at 41.8 percent from the field, were 10-of-30 from three-point range...The Lakers made 24-of-28 foul shots and hit at a 46.2 percent clip from the floor. Gasol was 10-of-11 from the charity stripe...Orlando guard Jameer Nelson, playing his second game since returning from shoulder surgery, had four points in nearly 17 minutes of court time.