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Magic take Sixers to OT, come up just short in 116-114 thriller

Magic take Sixers to OT, come up just short in 116-114 thriller
Orlando, Florida, USA, March 13, 2022, Philadelphia 76ers Power Forward Tobias Harris #12 attempt to make a basket during the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic faced the Philadelphia 76ers at The Amway Center on Sunday and gave them a fight, finally losing 166-144 in overtime.

Coming off of a tremendous comeback win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the Magic were ready for the challenge, as the used their fast paced offense to take a 29-24 lead ant the end pf the first quarter, and a 57-49 lead at the half.

Magic take Sixers to OT, come up just short in 116-114 thriller
Orlando, Florida, USA, March 13, 2022, Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid #21 attempt to make a basket during the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

The Magic used a swarming defense to tangle with superstar Joel Embid, attacking him at all sides when he backed up in the paint, keeping an eye on the Sixers lethal three point shooters. Orlando managed to keep Philly to 28% from 3-point rang in the first half.

Meanwhile, on the offensive end, the Magic’s shots were dropping for once, giving them the lead a 59-47 lead at the end of the first half.

In the second half, however, things changed.

Orlando came out cold in the third quarter, while Philly was hot, and their shots were finally dropping, especially from deep.

Magic take Sixers to OT, come up just short in 116-114 thriller
Orlando, Florida, USA, March 13, 2022, Philadelphia 76ers Shooting Guard James Harden #1 attempt to make a basket during the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Philadelphia grinded the Magic lead down to one point in the third quarter, with James Harden, Tobias Harris and Joel Embid eating up points.

Orlando’s mistakes seemed to increase in the third quarter as the Sixers pressed in.

Joel Embid tied the sock in the 5th minute of the third, but Markelle Fultz’s energy charged up the Magic offense, causing Philly to call a timeout.

The Magic and Sixers back and forth late in the game. Orlando was caught with some questionable calls late in the fourth quarter as Philly tied to take the game.

Philadelphia finished the game with 37 free throw chances, while, Orlando had only 20. Of those attempts, Joel Embed went 15 of 17 from the line, and Harden made 13 of 15. Those 17 extra points would have been a big difference in the game.

Orlando played with the focus of not fouling Embed, who is more than a handful to guard. His 35 points for the night. came on a night where the Magic held him to 2 for 5 shooting from deep.

“It’s tough,” Carter said of guarding Embiid. “He’s a force on the offensive end. From the duck-ins, he has the finesse game, 3-point line … it’s a lot to handle. The one way you slow that down is by making him work on the other end. I tried to do that.”

Magic take Sixers to OT, come up just short in 116-114 thriller
Orlando, Florida, USA, March 13, 2022, Orlando Magic Center Wendell Carter Jr #34 reacts after making a 3 point shot during the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Late in the fourth quarter, the Sixers were only two points down. Orlando pulled through with tough lay by Carter and Chuma Okeke, and managed to beat 100 when Tyrese Maxey could Orlando, sending them to the line.

A Georges Niang foul sent Cole Anthony to the line, who gave the Magic a 102-101 lead. Maxey would Anthony later, which tied the game at 104 at the end of regulation time.

After going into overtime, Cole Anthony made three consecutive 3-pointers during the extra period to give the Magic a 113-109 lead with 1:25 remaining, but at the final buzzer, the Sixers pulled out the 116-114 victory.

“Our guys are gaining execution experience and understanding what it’s like to play against a high-level playoff team,” Mosley said. “These guys did a great job of executing down the stretch. Things didn’t work out how we wanted it to, but these guys did a great job of competing.”

Orlando faces off against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday March 15th at the Amway Center. Should be another great test for this club.

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