Sixers Head Home With a Loss

The series is tied 1-1.

Fouled out and reduced to a spectator, Dwight Howard stood sidelined with one thought as he watched the 76ers erase another big lead.

"Man, I hope these boys don't come back again," Howard said.

They nearly did.

Rookie Courtney Lee had a career-high 24 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 16 and the Magic nearly blew another 18-point lead but ended up beating Philly 96-87 Wednesday night to even the series at one game apiece.

Philadelphia came within five points in the fourth quarter on an uncontested layup by Louis Williams after Lee missed a dunk on the other end. Almost as stunned as they were at the end of Game 1, the home fans were silenced. Some covered their mouths in disbelief.

Andre Miller had 30 points and Andre Iguodala scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half for the Sixers, who almost erased the same deficit they faced in the series opener.

"We feel like we had some opportunities," Iguodala said. "They did all the little things. They hit a big 3. They got all the little loose balls. They made the shots. They got all the rebounds. They did a great job of sealing the game this time."

"Three nights ago, we made timely shots," coach Tony DiLeao said. "Tonight, we had some opportunities to make some big shots and then we didn't."

Howard had 11 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out, and Rashard Lewis made a pair of big jumpers in the final minutes to help Orlando get its fourth win in five chances against Philadelphia this season.

Not to be a buzzkill, but the 76ers haven't won a playoff series since 2003 when we beat New Orleans in the first round. Game 3 is Friday in Philly.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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