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3-Point Barrage Sinks Sixers

The last time these two teams met, the Sixers (20-10) were in the midst of one of the hardest stretches of their schedule, labeled “Death Row” by coach Doug Collins. On January 30, when the Sixers beat the Magic 74-69, the Sixers looked very strong defensively as they easily handled the Magic for three quarters of that game. On Wednesday night when these two teams met, the Sixers were facing a far different Magic squad.

Ryan Anderson led the Magic with 27 points and 7 threes of his own (ESPN).

The two worst losses for the Sixers have probably been the Heat games, but their third worst came against the Magic last night as the Sixers never managed to take the lead in a 103-87 blowout loss. Orlando consistently went on runs when the Sixers were able to regain their composure, en route to an easy win.

In the first few minutes of the contest, the 76ers looked terrible while the Magic seemed poised to take the early lead. However, Philadelphia, which has had a track record of winning games handily with stellar defense, were hoping to avoid the same fate. During the final minutes of the first half, the Sixers cut the lead to six, but four different Magic players scored a total of 10 points in the last 80 seconds to extend Orlando’s halftime lead to 55-39. It wouldn’t get much better for the Broad Streeters.

The Sixers again came within 5 points during the third quarter after two Elton Brand jumpers, but managed to hit yet another wall as Orlando re-extended the lead back to a comfortable margin. Each time Philadelphia made it seem like a closely contested game, the Magic would blow them away. Of course, when the Magic are making 53% of their shots, hit 15 threes, and forced 14 Sixers turnovers, how could you lose the game?

The Sixers had a tough time playing defense, especially against All-Star center Dwight Howard.

All five Magic starters had more double-digit point totals, led by breakout forward Ryan Anderson, who had 7 threes (27 points in total), and Dwight Howard who accounted for 17 points and 14 rebounds. It is Howard’s league-leading 23rd double-double.

For the Sixers, the bench came through yet again as Lou Williams led with 21 points and Nikola Vucevic and Thad Young had double-digits as well, but starting guards Jodie Meeks and Jrue Holiday combined for only 8 points.

Philadelphia’s stellar defense was not working on Wednesday night, as it usually does against high-powered offenses in the league. Orlando is usually elite, but two weeks ago when they visited Wells Fargo Center was one of their low points of the season. Since that game, the Magic are 7-2 and much tougher to handle.

Although the Sixers and Magic don’t face each other again in the season, they could very well see each other in the postseason. Now the Sixers prepare for a home bout against the Dallas Mavericks, the reigning champions.

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Categories: 76ers

Author:Curran Aiyer

I like sports and gaming - obviously sports games like 2K and Madden. I'm not a big NASCAR or Poker fan because they require very little athletic skill but I am a HUGE NFL, NBA, and MLB fan. Check out Khandyman.com for my writings.

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