Top 10 Magic Moments In Amway Arena History


After 21 years of basketball at Amway Arena, the Orlando Magic will be moving on to the brand new Amway Events Center at the conclusion of the 2009-2010 season. Wednesday night will mark the last regular season game in the history of Amway Arena.

The arena originally cost $110 million to build and officially opened on January 29th, 1989. The building was originally known as the Orlando Arena and often refered to as the “O-Rena.” In 1999, the arena became the TD Waterhouse Centre before Amway became the sponsor in late 2006.

In honor of what will always be known to most Magic fans as the “O-Rena,” HTD will take a look at the top 10 Magic moments in the history of the building.

10. Magic Clinch First Ever Playoff Berth

With a win over the Detroit Pistons on April 8th, 1994, the Magic clinched the first playoff berth in the history of their franchise. The Magic defeated the Pistons 117-103 led by a 40-point, 16-rebound effort from Shaquille O’Neal. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway added 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. The Magic would go on to lose in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs to the Indiana Pacers.

9. Magic Win First Ever Playoff Game

After being swept out of the 1994 playoffs by the Indiana Pacers in the first round, the Magic won their first ever playoff in 1995, a 124-77 game one route over the Boston Celtics. Shaquille O’Neal scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Nick Anderson added 20 points. Eight players scored in double figures for the Magic.

8. Nick Anderson’s 3-Pointer Beats The Lakers In Shaq’s Return To The “O-Rena”

On February 22nd, 1998 in a nationally televised game, Shaquille O’Neal made his long awaited return to Amway Arena, his first trip back since signing with the Lakers as a free agent after the 1995-96 season. O’Neal scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but he was out done by Nick Anderson, who dropped 30 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer. After hitting the shot, Anderson mocked Shaq’s celebratory dance. SixMagic players scored in double figures including Bo Outlaw, who finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.

7.Scott Skiles Breaks The Single Game Assist Record

Back on December 30th, 1990 Magic Point Guard Scott Skiles set a record that may never be broken. In a 155-116 win over the Denver Nuggets, Skiles scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds while dishing out a league-record 30 assists. Skiles discussed his accomplishment here.

6. Darrell “Flash” Armstrong’s Steal Beats The 76ers

During the 1998-99 season, Darrell Armstrong burst onto the scene, winning Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved player. Armstrong was known for his high energy and effort and no single play better defined his game than his famous steal against the Philadelphia 76ers. With the Magic trailing 73-72, George Lynch of the 76ers attempted to in-bound the ball, but had his pass stolen by Armstrong, who raced to the basket and hit a layup at the buzzer and giving the Magic a 74-73 victory.

5. Dwight Howard’s Dunk Beats The Spurs

On Feburary 9th, 2007, the up-and-coming Magic were locked in a battle with the San Antonio Spurs. With the game tied at 104 with .8 seconds remaining, Howard blocked Tony Parker’s shot and the Magic gained possession with just .2 seconds left. Hedo Turkoglu threw an alley-oop in-bounds pass into Howad, who threw down an jam over future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan, giving the Magic a 106-104 win. Howard finished the game with 30 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The Magic would eventually lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Detroit Pistons while the Spurs would go on to win the 2007 NBA Championship.

4. Magic Win First NBA Finals Game

After being blown out in game one and suffering a disappointing game two overtime loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals, the Magic returned to Orlando in a must-win situation. The Magic stepped up, shot lights out (62.5%) and earned the first finals win in the history of the franchise. The Magic only made five three-pointers, finding it easier to drive to the basket, get easy shots and draw fouls. Dwight Howard finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Rashard Lewis also scored 21 points. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points. The Lakers would go to win the series in five games.

3. Tracy McGrady Scores 62 Points

Back on March 10th, 2004, Tracy McGrady dropped 62 points in a 108-99 victory over the Washington Wizards, breaking the franchise record for scoring in a single game. McGrady was 20-of-37 from the field, 5-of-14 from downtown and 17-of-26 from the free throw line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists.

2. Nick Anderson Steals The Ball From Michael Jordan

The Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls met in the second round of the playoffs in 1995. In probably the most famous play in Magic history, Nick Anderson came from behind and poked the ball away from Michael Jordan. Penny Hardaway picked up the loose ball and found Horace Grant for a dunk that gave the Magic a 92-91 lead with just over six seconds to play. The Magic forced a turnover on the next possession, hit two free throws and won 94-91, taking game one of the series. The Magic would win the series four games-to-two and eventually advance to the NBA Finals. Nick Anderson explained the play himself here.

1B. 1994-95 Magic Advance To NBA Finals

Game seven of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals was never close. After being blown out in game six, the Magic dominated the seventh game, winning 105-81 to advance to the NBA Finals. All five Magic starters scored in double figures led by Shauquille O’Neal’s 25 points. The Magic defense buckled down, allowing the Pacers to shoot just 37.0% from the field. The Magic were swept out of the NBA Finals by the Houston Rockets.

1A. 2008-09 Magic Advance To NBA Finals

The Magic finished off their upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 Eastern Conference with a 103-90 game six victory. The Magic used a dominating second quarter to take an 18-point halftime lead. The Cavs rallied early in the third quarterand trailed by just 11 with 2:47 to go in the quarter, but the Magic ended the quarter on a 7-2 run and never looked back. Dwight Howard was dominate in the game, going off for 40 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Rashard Lewis added 18 points and eight rebounds. The Magic would face off with the Lakers in the NBA Finals, losing the series four games-to-one.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).