Savage & Cohen: Magic-Sixers Analysis
By Dan Savage
January 19, 2011
ORLANDO -- If there was ever a time the Orlando Magic needed a series of unbelievable, let-me-see-that-one-more-time type of plays tonight was that night.
And courtesy of two out-of-this-world four-point conversions by Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick, the Magic received the boost they needed to pull off an amazing victory.
Richardson connected on a four-point play with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Redick followed with a meaningful one of his own in the extra session to help the Magic earn a thrilling 99-98 home triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
“That was about as crazy of a game as you will ever see right there,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy explained. “We had two four-point plays down the stretch, which was crazy.”
Adding to the insanity was the fact that the Magic had to play the final 49.4 seconds of regulation and all of overtime without superstar center Dwight Howard, who fouled out of the contest.
“We played the last quarter and overtime without Dwight; it was just a crazy game,” Van Gundy added. “We hung in there and gave ourselves a chance. It was an incredible win; my head is still spinning.”
Along with the two phenomenal shots from J-Rich and Redick, Orlando was also lifted by a tremendous showing from Ryan Anderson.
The Magic’s backup power forward came off the pine and erupted for a game-high 20 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.
“Ryan Anderson killed us,” said frustrated Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins. “The one thing he can do now is if you switch on the pick and roll, he can get in there and post you. And when Dwight Howard was out, he was the guy that made all of the critical baskets for them.”
In addition to his offensive output, Anderson also aided Orlando with his effort on the glass and defensive end.
“Ryan can do more than just stand out there and shoot threes, as you saw tonight,” Van Gundy said. “I think he played great defensively. He played so well that I would have regretted taking him out if we didn’t win the game.”
With perhaps one of the most bizarre finishes to a close contest as you’ll ever see in an NBA game behind them, the Magic will now turn their attention to the Toronto Raptors.
But before we get caught up in that contest, OrlandoMagic.com’s Josh Cohen will take you through the Top 5 storylines from Wednesday’s affair.
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