Orlando Magic Bid For 6th Straight Win Falls Short

By Sean Rollins

It was an exciting night in the Amway Center as the Orlando Magic (10-4) tried to win their sixth straight game against the San Antonio Spurs (10-5).  Dwight Howard had another 20-20 game but it wasn’t enough as the Magic lost a heartbreaker in overtime 85-83.

It was a back and forth game all night but the most excitement came in the final minute of regulation and in overtime.  With 1:02 left in the fourth quarter the Magic trailed 73-69 as Tony Parker continued to come up big.  Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando’s usual go-to guy in the fourth quarter, was out with back spasms so J.J. Redick stepped up scoring the next four points to tie the game.

Tony Parker lead the Spurs throughout most of the second half and especially in the fourth quarter but it was Tim Duncan who came through with a hook shot that gave the Spurs a 75-73 lead with 30.7 seconds remaining in regulation.

After missing the go-ahead three on the ensuing possession, Redick got the ball back off of a Ryan Anderson rebound and was fouled as he went in for a layup.  He made both free throws and with 17.7 seconds remaining, the score was tied at 75-75.  Tony Parker missed a jumper which the Magic rebounded with 0.3 seconds remaining.

Coming off the timeout, it was eerily reminiscent of 2007 when the Magic beat the Spurs in Orlando off an inbounds play.  In that game, Hedo Turkoglu threw an alley-oop to Dwight Howard who out jumped  Tim Duncan to win the game with no time remaining.  Nothing that dramatic was to happen Wednesday night though as Von Wafer took the inbound and was unable to get a shot off on time.

For most of overtime it was two exhausted teams trying desperately to make any shot that would fall for them.  The Spurs biggest lead of overtime was two until Gary Neal, not known for his three point shooting, surprised everyone by hitting a three that gave the Spurs an 84-81 lead.

Von Wafer responded on the other end by driving the lane, hitting the layup, and picking up the foul with a chance to tie the game at 84 with 16.3 seconds to go.  It wasn’t to be though as Wafer missed the free throw and San Antonio grabbed the rebound.

After being fouled immediately by Ryan Anderson, Richard Jefferson went to the line to try to give the Spurs a three point lead but missed the second free throw and the Magic had the ball with only a few seconds remaining.

Down only two, the Magic decided to take a gamble and go for the win by looking for a three.  J.J. Redick got the ball but with a defender diving in front of him, Redick took a step to the left which took just enough time so that he couldn’t get the shot off before the buzzer sounded.  He made the game winning three but a few tenths of a second too late.

With the Spurs being on the back end of back-to-back games and the Magic being on the back end of back-to-back-to-back games, both offenses were obviously tired.  The Spurs only shot 43 percent and the Magic only 33 percent.  Tony Parker led the Spurs to victory with 25 points in 44 minutes.  Leading the Magic was Dwight Howard who scored 24 points and grabbed 25 rebounds for another stellar performance and Von Wafer set another season high scoring 15 points off the bench including some key shots late in the fourth quarter to keep the Magic in the game.

Up Next: Friday night the Magic will host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers who play Thursday night in Miami.  The Lakers are 10-5 to start the season but only 1-4 on the road as they make their first east coast road trip.

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