Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sixers shock Magic with thrilling come from behind win in Game One

(AP Photo/John Raoux)
They say winning is contagious, and what happened in Philadelphia sports today is proof of that saying. First, the Phillies won with a walk-off home run by Raul Ibanez. Then, the Flyers played their best game of the playoffs and turned away the Penguins. Finally, the Sixers turned in the most surprising performance of all as they knocked off the Magic, 100-98, in a thrilling come from behind win.

The Sixers were down as much as 18 in the third quarter but used a 39-19 run to pull off the shocking victory over the favored Magic. Philly got back into the game thanks to the contributions of several players, including Donyell Marshall, who had three 3's and 11 points in the 4th quarter, and Theo Ratliff, who played a bunch of minutes down the stretch and had a key basket late in the game. While Marshall hit a huge three to tie the game with 34 seconds left, the biggest hero of the night was Andre Iguodala, who, with the game tied at 98, hit a tough fall away shot with 2.2 seconds left to give the Sixers the win. Iggy didn't have a great game overall, shooting 10 of 23 for 20 points, but he made the big basket when it counted.

For those with good memories, you will remember that the Sixers series against the Pistons last season started in the exact same fashion. The Sixers came back from 15 down to knock off Detroit in Game One of that series, just like they did today against the Magic. Hopefully this Orlando series will turn out differently, but it is important to remember this is just one game in a seven game series. Orlando is still the better all-around team and they could easily beat the Sixers down in Game Two, but winning this first game is huge for Philly. They have taken the home court advantage away from the Magic; if the Sixers can somehow win all of their home games in the series, they will move on.

So caps a great day in Philly sports. Your heroes for the day are Raul Ibanez, Claude Giroux and Ander Iguodala. It's nice to have this ray of hope after an otherwise depressing week of tragedy and bad losses.

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