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LAKERS ONE WIN AWAY

THE BALTIMORE SUN

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Derek Fisher played the role of Kobe Bryant in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Fisher nailed two decisive three-pointers, becoming the clutch player the Lakers needed in a 99-91 overtime win over the Orlando Magic to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Lakers have three tries to win their 15th NBA championship. They get their first opportunity to clinch the title in Game 5 on Sunday night.

The Lakers overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to send the game into overtime when Fisher hit the game-tying three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation. Then he made a three with 31.3 seconds left in overtime that gave the Lakers the win. Pau Gasol added a layup to stretch their lead to five with 21.6 seconds remaining.

It was their second overtime win of the series. The first came in Game 2, 101-96. In both games the Magic had an opportunity to win but failed to close the game out.

In Game 3, Dwight Howard stepped to the free-throw line with 11.1 seconds left and the Magic ahead 87-84. He missed both free throws, giving the Lakers the opening they needed. In Game 2, Courtney Lee missed an alley-oop layup with 0.6 of a second left in regulation that would have won the game for the Magic.

Though Bryant scored four points in the extra period of Game 4, he wasn't the difference in this one. He went 11-for-31 from the field for 32 points and scored only four in the fourth quarter. Fisher, meanwhile, had 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Gasol added 16 points.

Howard scored 16 points and had 21 rebounds, along with an NBA Finals-record nine blocks. But he struggled at the free-throw line, going 6-for-14. Rashard Lewis had his worst game of the series, shooting 2-for-10 and scoring six points. Hedo Turkoglu led the Magic with 25 points.

The Magic led 87-82 with 1:34 remaining but couldn't hold on.

Orlando came out flat to start the second half after taking a 49-37 lead into halftime. The Lakers wiped out the deficit in about six minutes' time, taking a 55-54 lead at the 5:58 mark of the third quarter - their first lead since going up 8-7 early in the game. Trevor Ariza nearly single-handedly led the comeback, scoring 11 of the Lakers' first 18 points of the third quarter.

Los Angeles outscored Orlando 30-14 in the period to take a 67-63 lead into the fourth quarter. The Magic totally lost its rhythm in the period, especially after Turkoglu picked up his fourth foul at the 7:11 mark. With him out of the game, the Magic went from up four to down four.

The Magic built its halftime lead despite turning the ball over 11 times and shooting 3-for-12 from beyond the arc. Turkoglu had 15 points at the break, and Rafer Alston had nine as the Magic shot 48.6 percent - a far cry from the NBA Finals record 75 percent it shot in the first half in Game 3.

Los Angeles struggled from the floor, shooting 33 percent in the first half (14-for-42) - including 1-for-10 from the three-point line.

Bryant had 13 of his team's 20 first-quarter points, but as he did in Game 3, he cooled off. In the second quarter, he had only three points on 1-for-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum played only five minutes in the half thanks to three personal fouls. Lamar Odom also had three. Ariza was 0-for-6, the lone Lakers starter held scoreless in the half.

Bynum had two fouls less than four minutes into the game. Gasol picked up two by the 3:44 mark, leading coach Phil Jackson to bring in seldom-used D.J. Mbenga and Josh Powell. Mbenga had played about two minutes in the series before Game 4; Powell played only 2:50 in Game 1. Three Lakers starters failed to score in the first quarter - Gasol, Bynum and Ariza.

Notes: : R&B; singer Chris Brown and former girlfriend Rihanna were among the celebrities in attendance at Game 4. Brown is accused of beating then-girlfriend Rihanna after a pre-Grammy party in February. The case is still pending. They were sitting in the same row on opposite ends under the basket. Other celebrities in attendance included Tiger Woods and former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. In an awkward meeting, Hogan stunned Woods just before the game when he went up to greet the world's No. 1 golfer, who at first didn't see the towering figure standing in front of his courtside seat. ... After practice Wednesday, Lakers backup point guard Jordan Farmar grabbed the basketball and dribbled up the court - with his feet. Turns out, Farmar was quite the soccer player while growing up in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

LAKERS @MAGIC

Game 5

Sunday, 8 p.m.

TV: Chs. 2, 7

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