In last year’s playoffs, the beginning of the end to the Sixers Disney-esue ride against Detroit came in the third quarter of the fourth game, when the Pistons erased a 10-point Sixers lead by doing what they do best —defending.
For the Magic, doing what they do best is dropping it into big man Dwight Howard, and dropping rain from the 3-point line. But the Magic have no NBA titles to lean on, no muscle memory. So an 11-point fourth quarter lead once again dissolved for them under the Sixers frenetic defense, and once again, the Sixers had an opportunity to win a game they had no business being in.
Hedo Turkoglu’s tough 3-point shot over Thaddeus Young prevented that and tied the series at 2. It also returned the home-court advantage to the higher seed, but this series suddenly has none of the feel last year’s did against Detroit.
This smells like a seven-game series, all the way.
Game 4 had a more of a Philly flavor than the previous games. Which is a kind way of saying some ugly basketball was played out there at times, especially in the second quarter.
After three quarters of play the Sixers were shooting just 36 percent. And yet they trailed by only nine.
From an official timeout with 4:45 left until the half, two points were scored by each team. Incredibly, Howard was on the court for all of it!
He was 2-for-6 at the stripe in the first half, and was frustrated enough to hack away at Reggie Evans, who couldn’t buy a foul. When Howard was finally called for one, it was a dubious over-the-back call on the offensive glass.