The Orlando Magic love playing in Philadelphia.
Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and the Orlando Magic dominated the Sixers basically from start to finish, winning 95-85 tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The Magic have now won ten of their last eleven games in Philly.
The Sixers were dominated on the glass, getting out rebounded 56-31. 13 of those boards came courtesy of Dwight Howard, who also scored 19 points. The Magic were a stellar 44-percent from beyond the arc, compared to the Sixers, who made just 29.4-percent of their three point attempts. St. Joseph’s University alum, Jameer Nelson, led the Magic in three pointers going five-for-eight, en route to his 19 points.
With two games remaining, it was the Magic who looked like they were fighting for playoff positioning instead of the Sixers. To Philadelphia’s credit, they did make this game interesting at one point without sixth man, Lou Williams, who averages 22 points a game against Orlando. Also, Andre Igoudala sat out to rest his right knee which has frequently bothered him this season.
The first half was dominated by the Magic in almost every facet of the game. The Magic out-rebounded the Sixers 32-9, with the Sixers not getting their third rebound until midway through the second quarter. The Magic also dominated the half from beyond the arc, hitting six of their first seven three pointers. Jameer Nelson led the way hitting 4-6 in the first two quarters to lead his team with 12 points at half.
The Magic got cold though, missing four of their next six three point attempts. The Magic’s cold shooting late in the half, on top of turning over the ball 13 times, allowed the Sixers to rip off a 14-0 run led by Elton Brand, who had 16 points at half, to tie the game at 43 with three minutes left. Brand finished with a team-high 22 points. The Magic and Sixers went back and forth for the last three minutes of the half with the Magic taking a 50-45 lead to halftime.
The third quarter began just as the second quarter ended with both teams see-sawing, matching each other basket for basket.
However, the Sixers shooting got freezing cold. Philadelphia only made seven of 25 from the field, and the Magic started to pull away, outscoring the Sixers 26-15 in the third quarter to take a 76-62 into the final quarter. Despite outshooting the Magic 23-13 in the final 12 minutes, the Sixers would not be able to overcome their dreadful third quarter.
The loss officially locks the Sixers in as the seventh seed in the East. Say hello to the Miami Heat.