Hardaway scores 41 points as the Magic defeat the Heat to force a crucial Game 5 on their 25th anniversary


Game: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway became the first Orlando Magic player to score 40 points in a playoff game during the 1997 NBA Playoffs. He did it again two days later.

On this day 25 years ago, Hardaway led the Orlando Magic to a 99-91 victory against the Miami Heat. The Magic’s triumph necessitated a decisive Game 5 in Miami.

The Magic were down two games to one in series when they arrived in Orlando Arena on May 1, 1997. Having rallied from a 20-point deficit to win Game 3. In Game 4, Orlando took the lead for most of the game.

With 18 points in the first quarter, Hardaway set the tone for the Magic. During a 15-2 run to start the second quarter, he scored four more points as the Magic established a 15-point advantage.

Although at halftime, the Magic led 53-39, but Miami pulled as close as four points in the third quarter. On the other hand, Orlando scored on four consecutive possessions to extend their advantage to 73-64 at the half.

Hardaway took over again in the fourth quarter game. While assisting on a Danny Schayes jumper, Hardaway made a three-point play to bring the advantage back to double digits.

With little over two minutes left, Miami guard Tim Hardaway hit back-to-back three-pointers to narrow the margin to five, but Penny Hardaway wouldn’t let the Magic lose. He came up with a crucial late steal after making a free throw. He clinched the game with a pair of foul throws with 33 seconds remaining.

In addition, Hardaway finished with 41 points, seven rebounds, and four steals. In the win, Derek Strong had 15 points and eight rebounds in game.

With 12 and 11 points, respectively, Darrell Armstrong and Gerald Wilkins led the Orlando bench. Armstrong grabbed nine rebounds to lead the squad. In the triumph, Schayes contributed 10 points.

Alonzo Mourning and P.J. Brown led Miami’s frontcourt with 23 and 20 points, respectively, and 13 rebounds in game. Jamal Mashburn and Tim Hardaway scored 19 and 16 points in the loss, respectively.

Moreover, P.J. Brown and Alonzo Mourning led Miami’s frontcourt with 23 and 20 points and 13 rebounds. In the defeat, Jamal Mashburn and Tim Hardaway scored 19 and 16 points.

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