Lewis helps Magic advance with win over 76ers

The Sports Network
4/30/2009 11:16:09 PM
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Rashard Lewis and Rafer Alston combined to score 50 points with Dwight Howard serving a one-game suspension, as the Orlando Magic notched an impressive 114-89 series-clinching win in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Lewis totaled 29 and Alston 21 for the Magic, who took their first lead in the series with a pivotal Game 5 triumph in Orlando on Tuesday when Howard scored 24 points and pulled down a playoff career-high 24 rebounds in what amounted to a controversial win.

Howard was hit with a technical foul after throwing an elbow to the head of Philadelphia center Samuel Dalembert in the first quarter and the NBA handed down the suspension for the superstar on Wednesday. Howard reportedly watched Game 6 from his Philadelphia hotel suite.

"I thought they were dangerous (without Howard). I thought they were loose and they put us on our heels," Sixers head coach Tony DiLeo said.

Marcin Gortat, patrolling the paint in Howard's absence, posted a game-best 15 rebounds, 11 points and added four steals.

"As good as Dwight is as Defensive Player of the Year, we don't lose that much defensively and on the boards when Marcin's in there," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said of Gortat's strong play.

Howard's elbow caused more problems for the Magic in Games 5 as starting shooting guard Courtney Lee took an inadvertent elbow to the head from his teammate and suffered a fractured sinus.

Lee had surgery earlier Thursday in Philadelphia that will keep him out of action for at least a week, most likely running through the start of Orlando's semifinal matchup with the winner of the Boston-Chicago series.

Third-year pro J.J. Redick started in Lee's place and ended with 15 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting.

The Magic hit 12-of-26 from three-point range and 53.7 percent from the field. Lewis also registered seven boards, five assists and three blocks in an all- around effort while Alston dished out a game-high 10 helpers with three steals as the Magic advanced with a 4-2 series win.

"One of the best wins I've ever been a part of," Van Gundy said. "Amazing that this series -- that had three games go to the last shot -- would end with us having two starters out and winning on the road by 25. That's the best offensive game we've had since we played Cleveland a month ago."

Andre Miller led a paltry Sixers attack with 24 points and Andre Iguodala scored 20, but 13 of those came with the game already decided in the second half.

Lou Williams donated 17 points off the bench for Philadelphia, which exited in an eerily similar fashion a year ago in the quarterfinals, when they took a 2-1 series lead on Detroit before losing in six games.

"They just beat us in every category. They put us on our heels right from the beginning -- hitting shots -- they put us on our heels for the whole game. This game for us was a total collapse," DiLeo said. "After the season we had, and the series we had, losing this way is disappointing."

Orlando jumped out to a 30-19 lead after the first quarter. Alston racked up 12 points over the opening 12 minutes hitting 5-of-8 from the floor including a pair of threes. Redick also hit a pair from downtown.

After Hedo Turkoglu extended the margin to 13 with a jumper to start the second, Williams started an 11-3 Sixers run with a three-point play. Iguodala followed by dropping a triple and Williams ended things with a make from beyond the arc, bringing the hosts within five, 35-30, just past the nine- minute mark.

Turkoglu drained a three-pointer at the seven-minute mark to spark a healthy Magic run. Lewis scored six straight points on the visitors' end, extending the margin to 15 and another three-ball from Redick pushed the lead to 57-41 with close to 3 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Sixers could only cut their deficit to 14, 62-48, on a Thaddeus Young putback just before halftime.

Orlando would never relinquish its double-digit advantage in a dominating effort down the stretch.

Consecutive buckets by Miller had the Sixers down 13, 78-65, with just about four minutes to go in the third but the Magic scored the next nine points and ended the frame up 87-72.

A Royal Ivey three-pointer was the lone Philadelphia field goal for nearly eight minutes spanning the close of the third and beginning of the fourth.

By the time Williams ended the stretch with a deuce close to 4 1/2 minutes into the final stanza, the Magic had a 20-point lead and opened it up to 24 moments later on back-to-back baskets, never looking back.

Notes: Mickael Pietrus had 14 points and Turkoglu 12 with five assists for Orlando...Dalembert ended with 13 rebounds and eight points for Philadelphia...There was an incident midway through the fourth where Turkoglu and Dalembert had words after a brief break in play. The two came together under the basket with a brief shove. Turkoglu was ejected having received his second technical of the game. Dalembert was also assessed a technical. Van Gundy received a technical in the first half for arguing with the officials...The Sixers shot 40.8 percent from the floor and were 7-of-20 from beyond the arc...This is the first series Orlando has ever won after losing Game 1. They were previously 0-9. The Sixers are now 10-2 in playoff series after winning Game 1. Both losses have come in the past two years...Orlando was 42-4 in the regular season when scoring 100-plus points. This was the first time they reached that mark in the playoffs.

Rashard Lewis (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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