Wins were few and far between for the Orlando Magic during the 2014-15 season, but during a week-long stretch in early-April, the Magic looked like a formidable team.
The Magic tied a season-high by winning three straight games. The final of those came against a pretty good Chicago Bulls team, in dramatic fashion and on this day five years ago.
At 46-31, the Bulls had already clinched a playoff berth and were looking to lock up home court in the first round as they came to the Amway Center on April 8, 2015. The Magic were 24-53 and had little more than pride to play for. Second-year guard Victor Oladipo would exemplify that pride with the game-winning layup with less than two seconds to play in a 105-103 Orlando victory.
Chicago led most of the way and by as many as 15 in the first half. After trailing 59-52 at halftime, the Magic managed to take the lead with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter, but the Bulls closed the period on a 9-0 run and led 87-79 heading to the fourth.
The final period would be dominated by the Magic, but they wouldn’t take the lead until 90 seconds remained. That lead came on a three-pointer by Oladipo. With Orlando up 101-99, Pau Gasol evened the game for the Bulls on a lay-in.
That was short-lived.
A short jumper by Aaron Gordon with just over a minute to play put the Magic in front 103-101. After the teams traded stops, Orlando likely needed just a stop to secure the win, but was unable to get the rebound on a miss from Chicago guard Aaron Brooks. With six seconds to play, Gasol drew the foul on Magic center Nikola Vucevic.
Gasol knotted the game with a pair of free throws with 6.5 seconds to play.
That set the stage for Oladipo to be the hero.
Matched up with All-Star Jimmy Butler, Oladipo took the inbounds pass from Elfrid Payton at the top of the key. Oladipo went left and straight down the lane, beating Butler to the rim for the go-ahead basket with 1.5 seconds to play. Chicago turned the ball over on its final possession and the Magic prevailed.
Oladipo would pace Orlando with a game-high 23 points on an efficient 8-for-14 shooting and three steals. Vucevic added 22 points in the win while Payton tallied 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Despite being on the wrong side of the winning basket, Butler led the Bulls with 19 points and six assists. Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic all finished with 15 points in the Chicago loss.
The victory would be the last of the 2014-15 season for Orlando. Chicago, on the other hand, would win their final four games of the regular season. The final loss of the season for the Bulls and the final win for the Magic came on this day a half-decade ago.