Live blogging: Magic vs. 76ers Game One

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Zach and I are officially in the house here at Amway Arena. I’ll be live blogging throughout the game with updates and analysis, so don’t be afraid the keep hitting the refresh button. I’ll be putting my latest post at the top, and if you need to catch up you can read after the jump.

END OF GAME: Wow. I can’t believe the Magic lost that game but it did actually happen. We’ll be back later with tons of postgame coverage, including player reaction from both locker rooms.

5:10 p.m. Just about 20 minutes to game time and the arena is starting fill up. Just like last season every Magic fan in attendance gets a free t-shirt. We’re going to head up to our seats and I’ll pass along any information as it becomes available.

5:29 p.m. We’re officially up in our seats in section 118. We’re sitting in the auxilary media seating, feel free to come by and saw hi if you’re in the house. Not sure if this is a bad omen or not, but Dwight Howard missed all of his pregame underhand tosses from halfcourt. On the positive side the arena is packed and really rocking, thanks to the noise-makers the Magic gave out to all the fans. There doesn’t appear to be an empty seat in the house, which is a stark contrast to last year’s playoffs, when I remember seeing empty seats higher up in the building.

5:43 p.m. The Magic open the game with a big three-pointer and we’re under way. There are a few celebs in the house, including Tiger Woods sitting courtside.

5:47 p.m. Dwight hits one out of two on his first trip to the line, but the Magic fans continue their tradition of chanting “MVP” as he attempts his shots.

1Q: PHI 18, ORL 16, 3:15 – 5:57 p.m. Magic turn the ball over and it leads to a very nice backwards dunk by Andre Iguodala. On the other end, Dwight puts back a miss and slams it home. Howard has 10 points and six boards already.

1Q: PHI 22, ORL 21 1:15 — 6:07 p.m. Sorry for the delay there, the Internet in the building seems to be coming in and out. Zach just pointed out something very interesting to me that might have not been entioned on TV yet. It doesn’t appear that Hedo Turkoglu has any type of special wrap or bandage on his injured ankle. He’s yet to score but it doesn’t appear that the ankle is something fans should be too concerned about.

END Q1, PHI 27, ORL 25 — 6:12 p.m. Anthony Johnson’s surprising dunk over Theo Ratliff with .8 seconds left in the first quarter just brought the house down. The Magic may be down by two points heading into the second quarter, but it seems like they just gained a ton of momentuem. So much for A.J. being too old.

2Q: PHI 31, ORL 29 9:17 — 6:19 p.m. Reggie Evans just shot his first two free throws of the day and I don’t think the Magic faithful have forgot about Evans dust up with J.J. Redick earlier in the season. Evans drew a smattering of boos and the fans used their noisemakers more than any other point in the game thus far.

2Q: ORL 42 PHI 41, 2:50 — 6:33 p.m. Looks like Courtney Lee is in the middle of playoff coming out party. The rookie didn’t score any points in the first quarter despite playing 11 minutes. The second quarter is a totally different story, Lee has scored 13 points while the rest of the team has put up a total of four.

HALFTIME: After an up and down first half the Magic head into the break with a 50-46 lead. The Magic hold the lead despite a combined three points between Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. Dwight Howard and Courtney Lee have carried the Magic so far, combining to score 31 of the team’s 50 points.

3Q, ORL 50, PHI 46, 12:00 — 7:03 p.m. With the second half just about that start you get the feeling sitting here in the building that the the fans are just ready to erupt. Hopefully the Magic can get off to a hot start and give this sell-out crowd something to shout about.

3Q, ORL 60, PHI 52, 7:55 — 7:11 p.m. As I was waiting for Rashard Lewis to attempt his techincal free throw I took a look around the arena, and I noticed something pretty odd. There doesn’t appear to be a single Philly fan in this whole building. Now for a city that prides itself on being so big on sports, I’m surprised that the Sixers fans couldn’t get their hands on any tickets. Either way, it’s nice to see the city of Orlandi rallying around the Magic.

3Q ORL 70, PHI 58 3:53 — 7:22 p.m. Well, the third quarter couldn’t be going any better for the Magic. With just under four minutes left they’ve already scored 20 points, and Philly is on its heels. As I mentioned earlier, the crowd is on its feet and rockin’. If the Magic can push this lead to 15 points by the end of the quarter I don’t really see how the 76ers can get back into it.

3Q ORL 79, PHI 63 :40 — 7:33 p.m. Dwight Howard just got poked in the eye as he tried to grab a defensive rebound and it seems like he’s having a hard time shaking it off. He continues to blink and strain his face, but of course he just hit both free throws so maybe he should get hit in the face more often. Also, J.J. Redick just made his first appereance of the night, getting a pretty big ovation from the crowd. With the Magic up almost 20, if the bench can extend the lead I wouldn’t be surprised to see the starters sit out for most of the fourth quarter.

4Q ORL 81, PHI 68 10:25 — 7:42 p.m. Don’t panic now Magic fans, but it appears that Dwight Howard has left the bench area to go intot he lockeroom. I guess that shot to the eye seems to be affecting Dwight. My guess would be that he’s just getting in checked out instead of taking his rest on the bench, but I’ll update as soon as we get an official word.

4Q: ORL 84, PHI 73 8:23 — 7:45 p.m. Well, it looks like Dwight has returned to the bench but he still seems to be having problems with his right eye, it doesn’t look major but I think it’s causing him some discomfort as he continues to blink over and over again. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but we’ll know more once the game is over.

4Q ORL 96 PHI 93 1:43 — 8:06 p.m. After praising the Magic fans for their enthusiasm all night I finally have to take a shot. As Dwight Howard stepped to the line to attempt two very important free throws, the entire arena started to participate in “the wave.” No. 1 it’s a basketball game, so it’s not really a wave situation. No. 2, the wave is lame. Come on Magic fans, you’re better than that.