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In a crazy game that went down to the wire, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers by the score of 99-98 in overtime. When Andre Iguodala knocked down two free-throws to give the Sixers an 89-84 lead with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter, it appeared as if the Magic were going to lose. But J.J. Redick was able to make a quick layup to cut the deficit to three points, then Lou Williams made one of two free-throws to give Philadelphia a four-point lead. At this point, it’s a two-possession game for the Sixers — by the book. Only a miracle would give the Magic a chance at stealing the game, and they got it. Jason Richardson got the basketball on a handoff pass from Ryan Anderson, then proceeded to attempt a three-pointer at the top of the key. Iguodala, then, did the unthinkable and fouled Richardson on the three. The shot went in, Richardson was able to make the free-throw to convert the four-point play, and Orlando — just like that — got themselves a second chance at a win that seemed improbable merely seconds earlier. Williams missed a game-winning try at the end of regulation, and the Magic were able to hold on in overtime for a victory. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as six players scored in double-figures. Anderson was a bright spot coming off the bench, finishing with 20 points. Dwight Howard contributed with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, but shot a dreadful 10-of-22 from the free-throw line and leaving a lot of points out there on the court because of it. Jameer Nelson played well, putting up 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points, including two monster dunks that surprised everyone in attendance at the Amway Center. Redick also had 12 points, while Brandon Bass chipped in with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
It can’t be understated how close the Magic were to losing, even after pulling off the improbable scenario of tying the game down four points.
After Richardson made the jumper, Philadelphia had 17 seconds left to come up with a rebuttal. Running the clock down, Williams attempted a fadeaway three-pointer that bounced on the rim four times before not going in.
That wasn’t the Sixers only chance at winning.
In overtime, with 22 seconds remaining, Philadelphia was down by a single point and had a shot to retake the game after letting it slip away at the end of the fourth quarter. Iguodala initially put up, and missed, a shot in the paint that nearly banked in before rimming out. Evan Turner got the offensive rebound and put up a heave that had little chance of going in, but the Sixers had shots that flirted with the rim before deciding not to go through the net. In essence, everything went right for Orlando and everything went wrong for Philadelphia.
The game outside the final minute of the fourth quarter and the five minutes in overtime was uneventful. But what a crazy finish.
Unfortunately for the Magic, amidst the goodwill of winning a game that was a lost cause it seemed like, Howard picked up his 13th technical foul on a second delay-of-game warning that was assessed after he fouled out.
That puts Howard closer to earning a suspension.
And it puts a damper on a thrilling victory.