Orlando Magic guard Courtney Lee still thinking about blown buzzer-beater

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Magic guard Courtney Lee hasn't been able to get his missed alley-oop attempt at the regulation buzzer in Game 2 of the NBA finals out of his head.
The rookie from Western Kentucky said the best way he could think of to try to forget the potential game-winner was to watch it over and over and move on.
"When I was at home, I was just beating myself up a little bit," Lee said Tuesday before Game 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers. "But then, when I got in here (Tuesday), my teammates were picking me up a little bit. That was my main goal, to just get it out of my head."
The Magic had the ball on the sideline with the game tied 88-88 and 0.6 seconds left Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Rashard Lewis set a pick on Kobe Bryant that freed Lee to cut to the basket, and Hedo Turkoglu lofted a pass that led Lee right under the hoop. The Magic lost in overtime and fell to 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Adding to Lee's torment, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said about an hour before Game 3 that, according to the strictest interpretation of the rules, goaltending should have been called on Pau Gasol of the Lakers on the play.
Gasol's right hand grazed the net and his fingers banged into the rim.
LITTLE BIG MEN: Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar longs for the days when NBA big men worked on their drop step, pivot play and inside moves.
Maybe even a Skyhook or two.
In recent years, Abdul-Jabbar, the most prolific scorer in league history, has seen young frontline players who wish they were dribbling in the backcourt.
"Everybody wants to shoot the three-pointer," the Los Angeles Lakers legend said. "It's like Lotto fever. They all want to be seven-foot point guards."
Currently working as a special assistant with the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar has spent the past few seasons years working with Los Angeles centres Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, helping them develop their interior games.
Gasol came to L.A. with a polished repertoire as international veteran while Bynum, who joined the league out of high school, was raw.
MAGIC SINGER: The Magic brought out their secret weapon for Game 3.
Orlando is 5-0 in the playoffs - 6-0 on the season - when seven-year-old Gina Marie Incandela sings the national anthem, and another one of her stirring renditions echoed around Amway Arena on Tuesday night.
Incandela was diagnosed at an early age with Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified, Autism, or PDD-NOS. Her parents, Michelle and Dwayne, feared their daughter would not be able to speak at one point.
Working with teachers who used music to help her speech, she slowly started humming songs around the house.
She eventually learned the "The Star-Spangled Banner" and sang it with incredible bravado. She has wowed players and fans in Orlando throughout the playoffs.
Tuesday night was her fifth straight appearance before a Magic home playoff game.
TEAMING UP: The joint youth initiative between the NBA and NCAA will be called iHoops.
The partners unveiled the name Tuesday during a news conference before Game 3 of the NBA finals. In attendance were NBA commissioner David Stern, Duke and U.S. Olumpic coach Mike Krzyzewski and iHoops CEO Kevin Weiberg.
The initiative, designed to provide support services and programs to youth basketball players ages 6 to 18, as well as their parents, coaches and other team officials, has Nike and adidas as founding partners.
RETIRING REFS: Jack Nies, who officiated 10 NBA finals games, is among three referees who are retiring from the league.
Jim Clark and Luis Grillo, who both officiated for 21 years, are also leaving at the end of the season, the National Basketball Referees Association announced.
Nies was an official for 31 seasons and is one of only six referees who officiated 2,000 regular-season games. He worked 150 more in the postseason and two all-star games.
Clark worked 96 playoff games, one in the finals, and 1,345 in the regular season. He worked the 2003 all-star game with Grillo, who officiated 1,171 games in the regular season and 41 in the postseason.
"The NBRA and the NBA are losing three great officials," NBRA spokesman Lamell McMorris said in a statement. "They have served the basketball community graciously over their careers and we wish them the all the best."
QUICK HITS: Security was so tight at Amway Arena that Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was stopped by guards at the team entrance. The former Lakers centre, wearing a Dodgers cap and blue dress shirt, was screened by security with wands, which other celebrities also endure as standard procedure. ... Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash was at the arena as a member of the media, doing reports for CBS' Late Show with David Letterman. ... It was only the second time - and first in 14 years - that Orlando hosted the NBA finals.

Organizations: NBA, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic National Basketball Referees Association The Star NCAA U.S. Olumpic Nike Dodgers Phoenix Suns CBS

Geographic location: ORLANDO, Los Angeles, L.A.

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