There was an edge to the Magic from the opening tip. A sharpness about the way they cut. A crispness to the way they passed the ball. An extra bit of focus on defensive rotations.
No one said this game mattered more. But to see the Magic bench explode with every made 3-pointer. To see the team play with nothing to lose (or at least like they did not have a game against Golden State tomorrow night), an effort that said this was their championship game.
This one did matter more. And as the reality that, yes, the Magic would defeat Dwight Howard and his Lakers in their first meeting since the tumultuous 2012 season and the trade that ripped the franchise apart, the emotion was pretty hard to hide. At least for fans, as the tweets started to come in fast and furious from a fan base in disbelief.
One win does not make everything OK. In fact, the Magic players might have been more concerned with the problems that had plagued them for three straight losses -- a lack of 3-point ...