The Sixers let a golden opportunity slip away on Sunday evening, losing Game 4 to the Orlando Magic at home. A victory would have allowed the Sixers to take a much needed 3 games to 1 advantage in this series, and they were unable to capitalize. Now the Sixers are forced to play a best of three series, with two of those games at Orlando, meaning the Sixers would have to win one on the road.
The Sixers absolutely let Orlando off the hook, and if the Sixers would have played even average, they win this game. The Sixers could never find their stroke, which is unacceptable at home, especially in the playoffs with so much at stake. The Sixers made a late comeback to tie the game in the 4th quarter, but Hedo Turkoglu nailed a three pointer on the final possession with 1.1 seconds left to play to win the game 84-81. The Sixers were down by two after the first quarter, and then the 2nd quarter was played. It might have been the ugliest quarter played in the NBA playoffs so far this season, as the Sixers wound up outscoring the Magic 14-12 in the quarter. If the Sixers would have been hitting any of their shots, they would have taken a double digit lead at halftime. Both teams were not playing well to say the least.
Instead, it was tied at halftime, and the Sixers continued to struggle on offense in the 3rd quarter, and the Magic started hitting some shots. Hotting some shots was enough, as the Sixers still couldn't hit any. Right when they were about to make it a game, and would cut it to 5 or 6, the Magic would push it back to 10. This happened from the later stages of the 3rd quarter until halfway through the 4th quarter. Somehow, someway, the Sixers scored, and eventually came all the way back and tied the game at 81 on a dunk by Dalembert with under 20 seconds left. The Magic had the final possession, and Turkoglu, isolated on Thaddeus Young pulled up and took a three pointer, and drained it for the win.
The Sixers need to do a better job of getting out in transition to get as many easy baskets as they can. The Sixers still struggle in the half court sets, and need to get out and get as many transition buckets as possible. The Magic did do a good job of getting back in transition, you could tell they worked on that. Iguodala struggled scoring, going 4-13 in this game, and Andre Miller went 6-18 from the field. Lou Williams is still better than Willie Green, but looked very hesitant at times in this game. The Sixers as a team shot just 39% from the field, and 73% from the line. The Sixers took 10 more shots than did the Magic, and made 2 fewer shots.
The Magic aren't exactly playing up to their capabilities either. They definitely miss Philly's own Jameer Nelson. Alston has played well in this series, but hes not Nelson. The Sixers have to make everyone else beat them besides Dwight Howard. They have done a good job of that, and the Magic's supporting cast have done well when they have needed to. Either way, the Sixers led a great opportunity go by the wayside, and now must try to bounce back in Game 5 at Orlando.