FOX Sports Florida broadcasting classic Orlando Magic games

The Orlando Magic's classic series against the Chicago Bulls in 1995 will get a full replay on FOX Sports Florida (at least the good parts). (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport)
The Orlando Magic's classic series against the Chicago Bulls in 1995 will get a full replay on FOX Sports Florida (at least the good parts). (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport) /

With replays of this year’s Orlando Magic games coming to an end, FOX Sports Florida has added classic games to its schedule to tide us over.

The Orlando Magic season was supposed to end Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors. After that was supposed to come the playoffs — in likely Toronto to Milwaukee beginning Saturday or Sunday.

This is supposed to be the most exciting and best time of the year for NBA fans. The Playoffs are beginning and the real business of the season is about to get underway.

Instead on Wednesday, FOX Sports Florida will air the final Magic game of the season to this point. The Orlando Magic’s comeback win over the Memphis Grizzlies was one of the best games of the season. It was a sign the team had turned some corner. They went 3-1 on that road trip with a home-heavy and (on paper) easy schedule ahead.

The playoff race was heating up for the Magic. We were all eager to see how it would end.

For now, we are waiting for the virus to run its course and for the league to restart. That goes for the entire sports world.

Like with the Magic replays for the rest of the regular season and during the lockout in 2011, FOX Sports Florida is coming to the rescue to give Magic fans their fix.

Beginning Saturday, FOX Sports Florida will air classic Orlando Magic games from the Expansion and the Shaquille O’Neal era, including all four games the Orlando Magic won in their legendary 1995 playoff series against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

We will be watching the games along with you, so here is the full schedule:

April 18, 8 p.m.: Magic vs. Pistons (Oct. 13, 1989)

The first game on the docket this Saturday will be the Orlando Magic’s inaugural preseason game. Yes, a preseason game.

The Orlando Magic opened up the Orlando Arena with a matchup with the defending champion Detroit Pistons. And it did not matter that it was a preseason game. Magic fans treated the first time their team took the floor like it was a playoff game.

And then Orlando defeated Detroit. The defending champions walked off the expansion team’s floor losers. And it mattered to the Magic deeply. This is one of the biggest and most influential moments in Magic history.

April 21, 8 p.m.: Magic vs. Knicks (Nov. 6, 1989)

The Orlando Magic would have to wait a little longer to get their first official win. They would do so in the second game of their inaugural season, defeating Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks for the first win in franchise history.

Reggie Theus scored 24 points to lead the Magic and Terry Catledge and Jerry Reynolds each scored 19 to counteract Patrick Ewing’s superb performance. And, like that win over the Pistons, it was euphoria.

The Magic had arrived and put a game in their ledger. The world seemed open to them to make some waves (expansion reality would set in later).

April 23, 8 p.m.: Magic vs. Lakers (Dec. 12, 1989)

The Orlando Magic may have won just 18 games in their opening season, but those 18 games were all incredible and featured some really big wins. Including this one over the still-powerful Los Angeles Lakers.

James Worthy scored 31 points to lead the Lakers but he could not overcome the balance from the Magic. Terry Catledge scored 26 points, Sam Vincent 21 and Reggie Theus 20 to lead the Magic to a 108-103 win.

It was Otis Smith who hit a big shot near the end of the game to give Orlando the lead for good and deliver them a win over the league’s marquee franchise.

April 25, 6 p.m.: Magic vs. Bulls (Dec. 20, 1989)

More from History

Otis Smith made his biggest impact for the Orlando Magic as the general manager of the team’s 2009 Finals run. But he was actually a key player for the expansion team and a strong player for the team’s early years until a knee injury derailed his career.

No moment was greater than this meeting with the Chicago Bulls when Otis Smith outdueled Michael Jordan (52 points) down the stretch, hitting a big layup late in the game to give the Magic the upset win. Smith scored 28 points off the bench including the game-winning shot.

The Magic may not have been a team that won a lot of games that year (this win moved them to 11-15, a steep fall was coming) but the ones they did win felt very very big.

April 25, 8 p.m.: Magic vs. Heat (Nov. 6, 1992)

Of course, the Orlando Magic did not really arrive until they drafted Shaquille O’Neal with the first overall pick of the 1992 Draft. Then the Magic became a household name. And it started against the rival Miami Heat.

O’Neal dropped 12 points and 18 rebounds in his debut before fouling out. But it was clear O’Neal was going to be a force to be reckoned with.

So too would the spacing he created (despite eight turnovers). Nick Anderson scored 42 points in a 110-100 win and Dennis Scott had 27 points on 4-for-5 3-point shooting. The seeds of Magic greatness were planted.

April 28, 8 p.m.: Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1 — Magic vs. Bulls (May 7, 1995)

Game 1 of the Orlando Magic’s 1995 playoff series with the Chicago Bulls is the most defining moment of the Magic’s franchise history. No singular moment is as big or as memorable as the Magic’s upset — and it was an upset — win over Michael Jordan and his Bulls.

Every Magic fan can imagine the desperation of being down one with the shot clock turned off and Michael Jordan trying to dribble out the clock, looking over both his shoulders as Nick Anderson lurked behind. They can see Jordan look over the wrong shoulder and Anderson taking his opportunity.

After that, they can see Anfernee Hardaway find Horace Grant for the go-ahead basket and the win. The Magic showed that day they were championship ready and were coming for Jordan’s throne. Something they would have to earn the rest of the series.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

April 30, 8 p.m.: Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 3 — Magic vs. Bulls (May 12, 1995)

Michael Jordan came back with a vengeance in Game 2 for the Chicago Bulls to tie the series. Even after that triumphant win in Game 1, the Magic had to go to Chicago now and prove they were on the Bulls’ level. This was still anybody’s series to take.

Orlando regained the upper hand with a 110-101 win at the United Center. Shaquille O’Neal had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Anfernee Hardaway scored 19 points to lead the Magic to a win. Michael Jordan’s 40 points were not enough as the Bulls could not find balance to deal with the Magic’s varied offensive attack.

Let alone deal with O’Neal who turned in an incredible series. The Magic had homecourt advantage back and control of the series over the vaunted Bulls. They were not going away even if Jordan had vengeance on his mind.

May 2, 5:30 p.m.: Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 5 — Magic vs. Bulls (May 16, 1995)

The Chicago Bulls got their revenge in Game 4 to even up the series and set up a decisive Game 5 that would turn the series in one team’s favor or another. It was a big game. The biggest the Magic had ever played. This was set up for the Bulls to make their stand and put the young Magic out.

Orlando continually proved in this series the team was not going to back down. This was a championship-level team and a group that was not backing down from Jordan.

The Magic won the game 103-95 with Horace Grant scoring a team-high 24 points. Phil Jackson’s plan to force Horace Grant to beat them backfired that night. Grant delivered exactly what the Magic asked for when they signed him that game.

May 2, 7 p.m.: Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 6 — Magic vs. Bulls (May 18, 1995)

The Orlando Magic were losing late in the game and a Game 7 in this series seemed like it was destined to happen. The two teams traded blows through the first five games. What would be another one? Horace Grant was struggling and coach Brian Hill was readying to put him back in.

Then Orlando scored the final 12 points of the game. They raced past the Chicago Bulls and Grant told the coach to let the kids finish the game. The Magic handed Michael Jordan his final playoff series loss with a shocking Game 6 run to give the Magic a 108-102 win.

Shaquille O’Neal scored 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Magic, although it was Anfernee Hardaway leading the charge in that final run to win the same. The cherry on top, the team lifted Grant on their shoulders after the game to celebrate. That might be a decision they regret in hindsight with Jordan watching on.

Next. 2009 Orlando Magic's biggest strength was overcoming adversity. dark

FOX Sports Florida says they will be adding more games to the schedule after May 2 if the season is still on hiatus. So expect more fun games from after the Magic’s series with the Bulls to follow soon!