Magic vs. Sixers Game Two Live Blog


We’re going to do another live blog tonight, with the most recent posts displayed below. If you fall behind and want to catch up, keep reading below the jump. FINAL SCORE: ORL 96 PHI 87 — Zach and I are off to the postgame press conference and then into the team locker rooms to get some quotes. We’ll be back with more later in the evening (or perhaps early tomorrow morning, depending on traffic on the way home). Pre-game 6:18 p.m. — Things are a little more laid back in the media room tonight, and it seems like there a few less media members than on Sunday. Hopefully the relaxed atmosphere doesn’t spill over to the home fans because the Magic are going to need the crowd to be just as enthusiastic as it was on Sunday night. Pre-game 6:52 p.m. — Dwight Howard was just honored by Kia as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the year during a brief halfcourt ceremony. As we all know, Dwight officially won the award yesterday, but it was nice to get the see the fans give him a nice ovation. Pre-game 7:03 p.m. — Tiger Woods is in the house for the second straight game, I guess he has a case of playoff fever. I’ve yet to spot any other celebs inthe house, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. On the way to our seats Zach and I walked by a group of 76ers who were getting ready to take the court. To say the Sixers are loose would be putting it lightly. THey know they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in tonight’s game, so the Magic need to make sure they get off to a good start. Pre-game 7:08 p.m. — Obie and Lil’ Shawn (the most unoriginal names in the history of wacky FM D.J.’s joined with former Magic great Nick Anderson to get the crowd hyped for starting lineups. I have to say that as of right now there are a few more empty seats then there were on Sunday night, but the crowd seems just as loud. 1Q 5:49 remaining, PHI 17, ORL 10 — Andre Miller has gotten off to a pretty good start for the Sixers, scoring 13 quick points. It seems as if the Magic have switched up their defense on Miller, using Hedo Turkoglu primarily on defense. Clearly it doesn’t seem to be working. On the plus side, Samuel Dalembert has already picked up two early fouls and is on the bench. 2Q 11:10 remaining, ORL 24, PHI 21 — Sorry for the lack of immediate updates, there are always a few periods of Internet blackouts during Magic games and we’re hitting a few rough spots right now. In on the court news, Dwight Howard and Reggie Evans are really battling inside, and it’s nice to Dwight impose his will against the smaller Evans. Also, the Magic have done a nice job defensivley on Andre Iguodala, holding him scoreless on just one field goal attempt. 2Q 6:40 remaining, ORL 32, PHI 27 — The Magic just did a nice little thing called “extreme playoff challenge” during the timeout. It featured Stuff, the Magic mascot, competing against a 76ers fan. Let’s just say it didn’t turn out to pretty. The Sixers fans was sporting a worn out vintage Allen Iverson jersey, and was supposed to make five three-pointers before Stuff could crowd surf to the top of section 106, ride a sled back down to the court and then finish off with a dunk. Well, Sixers fan made just two three’s, and had more than a few air-balls, while Stuff made it down to the court but saw his dunk attempt come up short when he was blocked by the rim. Guess we’ll call it a draw. 2Q 5:33 remaining, ORL 35, PHI 29 — With just five minutes left in the first half I just noticed something a little odd. Only three Philadelphia players have scored thus far. Andre Miller has 17, Thad Young has 10, and Marreese Speights has two. the rest of the team? A combined 0-for-11 from the field. 2Q 2:59 remaining, ORL 37 PHI 35 — Andre Iguodala just scored his first point of the game on a free throw. The Magic have done a great job keeping the ball out of his hands in the early going. On the other end of the floor Sam Dalembert just picked up his third foul of the game and for good measure got a technical foul on his way off the floor. If Dwight Howard is frustrating him this much now imagine how he’ll feel by the time Games five and six roll around. HALFTIME ORL 46, PHI 39 — Spoke to a few media members during halftime and everyone seemed to offer the same opinion. This game is boring. A few others also noted that the Magic are playing pretty uninspired basketball. It’s clear that the Magic are the better team, it’s just a matter of how much they really want it. 3Q 7:20 remaining, ORL 60, PHI 46 — Alright, I’ve seen enough Hedo Turkoglu for one night. This guy is killing me right now. I’m not sure if it’s the ankle or what the problem is, but he just doesn’t look right. In the mean time, Dwight Howard just had two powerful put-back slams that really got the crowd going. 3Q 4:33 remaining, ORL 66, PHI 52 — Dwight Howard seems to be getting a little frustrated here in the third quarter. He was just whistled for an offensive foul and then got a technical for yelling at the referee. We’ve talked multiple times this season about how Dwight takes his frustrations out on the refs rather than on the opponents, and that trend is continuing tonight. 3Q 2:24 remaining ORL 66, PHI 57 — Courtney Lee just limped off the court with what looked like a hamstring injury. Lee has been having a great series so far, and it’ll be blow to the Magic if he can’t come back. I’ll pass on any information as soon as we get it. 3Q :30 remaining, ORL 70, PHI 61 — Well it’s about time. Hedo Turkoglu just hit his first three-pointer of the entire series, and it couldn’t have come at a bigger time. Philly had cut the lead to six before Hedo trained a shot from the top of the key. END THIRD, ORL 70, PHI 62 — Just realized that I forgot to tell you about the debacle that was the halftime show. As usual a local group of performers took the court, but for some reason tonight it was a group of shirtless young men. After starting a ballet routine, the Magic crowd quickly turned on the group and showered the ballet company with boos. After the booing started I had seen enough and made a beeline into the tunnel. Another quick note, Brigham Avery, who works for CBS 1010 (??) just stood up and did “raise the roof.” And yes, it was just as lame as you would imagine. 4Q, 10:48 remaining, ORL 70, PHI 62 — Courtney Lee just came back in the game and the entire arena seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief. 4Q 9:26 remaining, ORL 72, PHI 65 — Dwight Howard just picked up his fifth personal foul and was forced to leave the game. Usually in the playoffs the refs do a pretty good job of protecting star players. Courtney Lee just also had a dunk attempt blocked by Theo Ratliff. Maybe Courtney is a little too young to remember when Theo was defensive player of the year, but the block led to an easy layup at the other endy for Philly. 4Q, 6:22 remaining ORL 81 PHI 72 — As was the case for most of game one the Magic are on the verge of blowing this game wide open. The crowd is just itching for a reason to go crazy. We’ll see if the Magic can put Philly away over the next few minutes to avoid a repeat of Sunday night. B. Avery just threw up his second raise of the roof of the game, we’ll keep a running tally from here on out. 4Q 3:48 remaining, ORL 83, PHI 76 — The Magic did a nice job of holding serve with Dwight on the bench for most of the fourth quarter. He just came back into the game, and I think he’ll have to pull a knife to pick up his sixth foul. 4Q 2:22 remaining, ORL 86, PHI 79 — I guess I spoke too soon. Dwight Howard just picked up his sixth foul with more than three minutes left in the game. He was called for an offensive foul, something you rarely see happen to a superstar in the fourth quarter of a home playoff game. I watched the Portland-Houston game last night and watched Yao do pretty much whatever he wanted during the fourth quarter when he was in foul trouble. Even Joel Pryzbilla picked up his fifth foul in that game with plenty of time left and didn’t end up fouling out. I know it may seem like complaining, but you’d never see LeBron or Kobe get called for a foul in the same situation. 4Q :53.6 remaining, ORL 90, PHI 81 — Hedo Turkoglu just hit a couple of clutch free throws to pretty much seal the victory. The fans are starting to head for the exits. As long as Orlando can hit its free throws down the stretch this one should be over.