Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sixers steal Game 1

Sixers steal Game 1.

Sixers steal Game 1

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Lou Williams, Maurice Evans and Samuel Dalembert celebrate the Sixers´ upset win as Magic fans express their displeasure by throwing objects onto the court. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Lou Williams, Maurice Evans and Samuel Dalembert celebrate the Sixers' upset win as Magic fans express their displeasure by throwing objects onto the court. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The Sixers arrived in Orlando feeling pretty decent  about themselves. They felt they were better than people gave them credit for being. They thought they had a shot in this series against the Magic.

And now what?

Game 1: Sixers 100, Magic 98.

Andre Iguodala hit the jumper that won it with 2.2 seconds after bricking two free throws with about a minute left. Hedo Turkoglu missed the desperation three-pointer at the end. And now the Sixers lead by a game. They have accompished what they needed to accomplish.

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The effort was the story, the gumption the Sixers showed on the road. They were down by 81-68 with 11:10 to go in the fourth quarter and they persisted. Dwight Howard was killing them for three quarters but they endured. An Andre Miller drive to the hoop cut the deficit to 84-81 with 6:26 to go and this was every bit a ballgame. It was tied at 91-91 with less than 4 minutes left. It was 96-95 with 1:07 left when Iguodala bricked two free throws. It was 98-98 when Donyell Marshall bombed in a three-pointer with 34.8 seconds left. It was right there.

Howard had big numbers, 31 points and 16 rebounds. But they weren't enough, as the Sixers won this thing with their bench in the fourth quarter -- Lou Williams, Theo Ratliff and Donyell Marshall all logging big minutes at the end.

And, so:

Surprised?

Daily News Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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