Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can Sixers step up?

The unheralded Philadelphia 76ers have given the Orlando
Magic fits in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series thus far.

Now, the Sixers hope to take a huge step toward a potential series upset when
the two teams meet again in Game 4 at the Wachovia Center tonight.

Thaddeus Young got to the rim and scored the game-winning bucket with two
seconds remaining on Friday, as the Sixers continued their road to an
improbable series win with a 96-94 triumph over the Magic in Game 3.

Young took an inbounds pass with 6.9 ticks left along the left sideline and
drove baseline. His initial attempt toward the hoop was denied by a sea of
arms from Orlando defenders but the sophomore standout cooly pivoted right and
laid it in around Orlando All-Star center Dwight Hoard.

A desperation heave by the Magic's Rashard Lewis caught all backboard as
Philadelphia logged its second thrilling victory of the series.

"They did a good job of denying Andre (Iguodala) the ball and Thad came
through," Sixers head coach Tony DiLeo said.

Iguodala scored a playoff career-high 29 points and Andre Miller had 24
points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, who took a 2-1 lead in
the series.

Howard shrugged off a pedestrian performance in Game 2 with a playoff career-
high 36 points to pair with 11 boards and three blocks for Orlando, which
despite Howard's foul troubles, evened the best-of-seven set at a game apiece
on Wednesday with a 96-87 triumph.

Rafer Alston added 17 points and Rashard Lewis 14 for the Southeast Division
champs, who rebounded from a last-second 100-98 loss in Sunday's series opener
when Iguodala drained a fadeaway jumper just before the regulation buzzer.

"Dwight was terrific. Rashard came on late. Now we have to get some other guys
to step up," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said.

These two teams have met in the postseason just once in 1999 when the Sixers
beat Orlando in four games during the first round.

Game % of the series is scheduled for Tuesday in Orlando.

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