O.C. Register: The Lakers won’t get a chance to avenge their NBA Finals loss to Boston, but they will face the team that eliminated the Celtics this season: the Orlando Magic.
Orlando’s Game 6 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night set up a Lakers-Magic NBA Finals matchup, with the Lakers having home-court advantage in the series that will start Thursday at Staples Center. Games 3, 4 and 5 would be scheduled for Orlando’s Amway Arena.
The Lakers’ failure to catch Cleveland for the NBA’s best regular-season record did not wind up costing them home-court advantage in the championship round. However, the Lakers went 2-0 against the Cavaliers in the regular season compared to 0-2 against the Magic.
Orlando’s star in both games was All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson, who is out for the season with torn labrum in his shoulder. Nelson, who has been replaced via trade by ex-Houston Rocket Rafer Alston, had 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting in Orlando’s 106-103 home victory over the Lakers on Dec. 20.