Sometimes its better to be lucky than good. In a somewhat unexpected battle with the Philadelphia 76′ers the Orlando Magic escaped with a 99-98 victory in OT keyed by two wild & rare 4 point plays. This was a game that once again showed the team’s resilient nature because quite frankly many times throughout the game they looked dead in the water.
In the closing minute of regulation the Magic were without MVP candidate Dwight Howard after he picked up his 6th foul with 49.4 seconds left to play. Down 86-90 the Magic ran a brush screen and roll with Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson. Richardson darted towards the top of the arc with Andre Iguodala hot on his heels. Richardson stopped on a dime, rose up and fired a 3 that splashed the net viciously. But wait there’s more. The aforementioned Iguodala was whistled for a foul on the play because he swiped at the ball as Richardson drove then again as he rose up for the shot. I am sorry but even the most biased of Magic fans would have to admit that Richardson was not fouled on the play. Iguodala swiped but missed making contact with Richardson on both attempts but nonetheless was whistled for a foul. To Richardson’s credit he knocked down the unearned freebie and tied the game at 90 with 17 seconds left to play.
I am not sure Philadelphia ever recovered and luck was clearly on the side of Orlando after that. In the closing seconds of regulation Louis Williams launched a 3point shot that hit every part of the basket without falling through, including a rattle in and out of the cylinder before time expired. In overtime the teams exchanged baskets, until the 1:43 mark. J.J. Redick knocked down a 3 and was fouled by Williams (this time a little more legit of a foul) putting the Magic up 99-96 after the made and one free throw. The 76′ers drew to within 1 after a Thadeus Young dunk but could get no closer. The Magic missed on their final 3 possessions and survived the feverish final 7 seconds where Iggy had a shot rattle in and out, and Evan Turner missed a desperation leaner as time expired
You can go two years before seeing even one 4point play in a NBA game, and Orlando had two in the same game. In reference to the questionable calls Andre Iguodala said “We can’t let (the games) boil down to that, then maybe we’ll get a little more respect down the stretch, with how the game is called sometimes, I don’t know if we earned that respect or not. We play hard every night…(But) we never get it.”
One team’s desperation is another team’s fortune. The win and stroke of good luck was a welcome event for Orlando after the loss against the green leprechauns on MLK. Fortune favors the brave, and the Magic were brave and resilient as always.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com