Cohen: Top Three Performances by Players in Magic History


By Josh Cohen

#1 If Lewis isn’t clutch in the 2009 conference finals against Cleveland, Orlando doesn’t make its second NBA Finals in franchise history. After the Magic crawled out of a 15-point halftime deficit in Game 1 and following a back-and-forth final few minutes, Lewis connected on the game’s biggest shot with 14.7 seconds as his go-ahead 3-pointer helped secure the victory. Later in the series, Rashard came up gigantic again. His corner trey with 4.1 ticks remaining in regulation of Game 4 saved Orlando from near defeat. The Magic would win the game in OT and ultimately prevail in the series in six games.

#2 With Dwight Howard suspended and pressure mounting on his shoulders, Lewis stepped up in Game 6 of the Magic’s First Round playoff series against the 76ers in 2009 with a spectacular 29-point performance on 11-of-22 shooting from the field. ‘Shard also added seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks to help Orlando advance.

#3 While some initially criticized the Magic for giving Lewis a six-year, $118 million contract, Lewis’ contributions in his first playoffs in Orlando altered some of those judgments. After a splendid series against Toronto in the First Round, Sweet Lew delivered his best postseason effort in Game 3 against Detroit in the conference semifinals. He racked up 33 points and drained five of his six 3-point attempts in a Magic win over the Pistons.