In eight total seasons with the Orlando Magic, there were a lot of things that forward Hedo Turkoglu did well. One attribute that fans may remember most fondly was his ability to deliver in the clutch.
On this day 15 years ago, the native of Turkey did just that. His fall-away with less than a second to go was the difference as the Magic nipped the Seattle SuperSonics, 88-87.
The Magic were 2-2 as they arrived at Amway Arena on Nov. 8, 2006. At 1-3, Seattle was looking for its first road win of the season. The SuperSonics were one stop away from getting it.
The contest was tied at 67 through three quarters, but after a Turkoglu layup with just over three minutes to play, Orlando looked well on its way to an easy victory. The bucket gave the Magic an 86-77 lead, but Seattle answered with 11 straight points.
Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen each hit three-pointers for the Sonics during the run. With less than six seconds to go, Lewis looked as though he may have delivered the fatal blow to his future team with a runner to give Seattle an 87-86 lead.
With 5.7 seconds to play, Turkoglu took the inbounds pass from Grant Hill. Well-defended by Lewis, Turkoglu was forced to heave a fadeaway jumper from about 20 feet.
The shot went down and Orlando survived.
Throughout the course of the contest, both teams held double-digit leads. The Magic scored the game’s first 13 points, but that advantage had evaporated by the early parts of the second quarter. Seattle led by 12 on three separate occasions during the third, but Orlando closed the period on a 16-4 run to draw even entering the fourth.
Allen led all scorers with 21 points in the loss while Lewis added 16. Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson each finished with 18 points to pace Orlando. Hill added 12 points and five assists while Carlos Arroyo tallied 10 points off the Magic bench. Orlando’s Dwight Howard led all rebounders with 10.
The Magic got off to a 13-4 start in 2006-07 before ultimately finishing 40-42. During the hot start, Orlando reeled off six wins by three points or less. One of those came courtesy of Turkoglu on this day 15 years ago.