Magic-Cavaliers: Orlando Makes a Statement with a Win in Game Four
It takes pride to win in the playoffs.
After winning tonight's game and stretching the series to 3-1, Orlando has officially made a statement that will reverberate throughout the NBA. They have proven that they have what it takes mentally and physically to win an NBA championship this season.
In what was yet another incredible game (filled with questionable calls) in the Eastern Conference Finals series, the Orlando Magic managed to come up victorious in an overtime extravaganza at the Amway Arena, winning the game 116-114.
The Magic shot lights out from everywhere on the court, once again shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from three-point range (17-38, a new Magic playoff record).
X-factor Mickael Pietrus came up clutch, scoring 17 points (five of 11 3PTM), including a huge three-pointer which stretched Orlando's lead to 109-105 with only two minutes remaining in OT. Pietrus has now dropped a total of 56 points in the four games, scoring more points overall than Cleveland's entire bench.
Point guard Rafer Alston played absolutely stellar, shooting 10 of 17 from the field and six of 12 from beyond the three-point arc, scoring a career playoff high 26 points. Alston ignited the spark for Orlando after halftime, hitting three shots back-to-back-to-back with a total of seven points in less than two minutes.
Rashard Lewis scored 17 points on five of nine shooting from the floor and hit another super clutch three-pointer with only four seconds to go in regulation. This gave Orlando the two-point lead and seemed to be almost the shot of the game.
Dwight "Superman" Howard dropped 10 of his 27 points during overtime, where he drained two key free-throws, pushing the lead to four points with only 21 seconds remaining in the game.
Howard also ended the victory with a game high 14 rebounds, three blocks, 10-of-16 shooting from the field, and seven of nine from the free throw line.
(Howard picked up his sixth technical of the playoffs during the game. One more and he gets suspended for a game. Orlando will more likely than not repeal the ruling on the court.)
While the Magic played an outstanding overall game, the Cleveland Cavaliers were nothing short of spectacular as well.
LeBron "King" James scored a game high 44 points on 13-of-29 shooting from the field. James played 49 minutes and 24 seconds of the game (53 minutes in total, 48 in four quarters plus five in overtime).
Even though James seemed to be extremely fatigued, he continued to do his ultimate best, constantly attacking the rim, grabbing rebounds (12), and dishing out assists (seven).
With only four seconds remaining in regulation, James caught the ball, drove to the basket, and drew the foul. He went to the charity stripe down by two points with only .5 seconds left and came up massively clutch, hitting both free throws.
Due to the King's excessive amount of playing time, he ended the game with a total of eight turnovers and having scored 38.6 percent of his team's entire points.
With 3.2 seconds left in overtime, the Cavaliers passed the ball into LeBron James. As the entire arena held their breath, James released the ball from his hand, (giving Magic fans flashbacks of the Game Two game-winning shot) only to brick the three-point jumper, which would have given Cleveland the win.
After a truly magnificent OT win for Orlando, the Cavaliers will now head back home, desperate to capture their second win of the series. It is now do-or-die for James and the Cavs, and if they come up empty handed, the entire city of Cleveland will be nothing short of devastated.
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