Instant reaction: Sixers 100, Magic 98


Here are some random thoughts after the Magic’s game against the Sixers here at Amway Arena. We’ll be back later with a recap, including updates from the players and coaches.

I really can’t believe what just happened. An 18-point easy victory turned into a stunning, come-from-behind victory for the Sixers. Andre Iguodala hit a fallaway 18-footer in Hedo Turkoglu’s face for the decisive bucket. The Magic imploded in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get any stops when they had to. Donyell Marshall scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. Yes, Donyell Marshall.

That was one of the best crowds we’ve had in Orlando in quite some time. I’d say it was a small step above last year’s playoff crowd. Half of the arena was given blue shirts, and the other half white. Everyone had noisemakers, which were incredibly distracting— I can’t imagine they didn’t affect Philadelphia. It sounded like a hail storm coming down on a tin building.

There wasn’t even a limp in Hedo Turkoglu’s walk. No brace. No splint. It’s safe to say he’s good to go the rest of the way.

They call Anthony Johnson the team’s Dad. Well, Theo Ratliff should start calling him Daddy after Johnson’s sick dunk at the end of the first quarter.

Tiger Woods was wearing a blue Nike polo and a black Nike hat. Does he have any non-golfing clothes?

It’s amazing that a team with Dwight Howard can be a middle-of-the-road rebounding team, but you can really see why. When Dwight goes up for a rebound, the rest of the guys stand around and watch him. Like you and I, they expect Dwight to come down with it whenever he goes up. So if Dwight doesn’t get the rebound, the other team gets it.

When Andre Iguodala gets a head of steam and attacks the rim, he’s just about impossible to stop.

We saw a little glimpse of the standout scorer that Courtney Lee could become. He’s quicker than his defender 90 percent of the time, and he’s really a polished finisher at the rim. And of course, he can shoot. His scoring outburst in the second quarter was something to see — it was mostly on Andre Miller, too.

The Sixers aren’t going to see a more forgettable showing from Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis

, yet the Magic still won comfortably. That can’t exactly instill confidence to Sixers fans

I typed these throughout the game, and the Magic were up by 18 at the time I wrote that. Ouch.

You can’t full-court press in the NBA because the point guards are too quick and too good, but that doesn’t stop the Sixers from trying.

Maybe there is something the Sixers can do to stop Dwight Howard: poke him in the eye, like they did Sunday night.

Dwight Howard’s double-double earned everyone at the game a free quarter-pounder at McDonald’s. Rock on.

  • Dwight Howard makes a half-court shot and it goes on Sportscenter. JJ Redick makes a halfcourt shot and no one in the arena even cheers.
  • Speaking of Redick, he didn’t even enter the game until 1:12 left in the third quarter and the Magic up 15. It looks like Stan Van Gundy is going with a nine-man rotation, with Redick on the outside.

    Every time Andre Miller went to the baseline, Dwight Howard double-teamed him. The Magic must have seen something on film that thought a big guy closing on Miller would give him fits. It didn’t seem to do much, though, at least what I saw.

    Out of nowhere, the Sixers went on a furious run in the fourth quarter and turned a blowout into a close game. All of a sudden, the Magic’s 18-point lead shrunk to an 84-81 lead with 6:26 left. There was absolutely no energy in here at that point. It really seemed like the Magic entered blowout mode late in the third quarter – they weren’t playing with the same playoff urgency like earlier in the game. But the Sixers are too scrappy to just go away in a playoff game.