6 Jun 2009

Lakers swamp Magic in opener

9:03 am on 6 June 2009

The Los Angeles Lakers put on a dazzling display at both ends of the floor to crush the Orlando Magic 100-75 in the opening game of the National Basketball Association finals in Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and had eight assists and eight rebounds to lift the Lakers, who are seeking their first title since 2002 when they had Shaquille O'Neal safeguarding the paint.

The home side limited All-Star centre Dwight Howard to 12 points after he entered the game averaging 21.7 in the post-season.

And Orlando succumbed to the Lakers' pressure defence, shooting just 29.9 percent from the floor, including eight of 23 from beyond the arc.

Game two is in Los Angeles on Monday before the best of seven series moves to Florida for the next three.