Andre Iguodala, Sixers stun Magic in Game One
Welcome to the NBA Playoffs, Andre Iguodala and Philadelphia.
When the postseason pairings were set last week, not many people gave Iguodala and the sixth-seeded 76ers a chance in their first-round series against the likes of Dwight Howard and the 59-win Orlando Magic.
As the Magic built a 79-61 advantage with a little more than a minute left in the third quarter of Game 1 Sunday, a predicted Orlando sweep looked inevitable.
But when Howard went to the bench after getting hit in the eye late in the third, the 76ers ignited an offensive run that lasted the entire fourth quarter. Iguodala capped the comeback with a game-winning jumper from the top of the key with two seconds left that pushed Philadelphia to a stunning 100-98 victory.
The 76ers outscored the Magic 12-5 and cut the Orlando lead to 84-73 with eight minutes left in the fourth as Howard got treatment on his eye. Philadelphia reserves Lou Williams and Donyell Marshall were huge in the fourth, combining for 19 points in the final frame.
Williams (18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three), pulled the 76ers within two at 86-84 on a three-point play the old fashion way with about six minutes left. Marshall (11 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three) hit two enormous triples late in the fourth, including one that tied the game at 98 with 34 seconds left.
Rashard Lewis missed a right-wing jumper for Orlando with 17 seconds left, which opened the door for the 76ers to take their first lead of the second half.
Iguodala, with Hedo Turkoglu hanging all over him at the top of the circle, dribbled hard to the right, pulled back and drained a high-arching jumper with two seconds to play.
After a Magic timeout, a Turkoglu three-point attempt from the left wing went wide, and the 76ers had completed the comeback and the Game 1 upset.
Philadelphia blitzed the Magic with a 35-point fourth quarter, making five threes and holding Orlando to 19 points.
Iguodala led the team with 20 points and added eight rebounds and eight assists. Andre Miller (15 points) and Thaddeus Young (14 points) also scored in double-figures for Philadelphia, which got 42 points from its bench.
As a team, the 76ers shot 51 percent from the floor and made seven of their 12 three-point attempts.
Howard, who collects points and rebounds with ridiculous ease, led the Magic with 31 points and 16 rebounds in 38 minutes. Courtney Lee played well in his playoff debut, adding 18 points.
The 76ers pulled off the game one upset just as they did last year when they were the seventh-seed in their first-round series against the Detroit Pistons. Philadelphia won the first game of the series 90-86 in Detroit, but the Pistons ultimately advanced in six games.
The Magic are sure to be surprised that they have a series on their hands. They'll look to re-goup though, when the teams meet in game two of the series on Wednesday.
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