TJ McConnell hits go-ahead jumper, makes game-saving steal as Sixers stun slumping Magic
TJ McConnell ended up with just eight points, but none bigger than his final basket to break the Sixers slump. AP

TJ McConnell came to the Philadelphia 76ers rescue anew with a go-ahead jumper and the game-saving steal to complete their stunning comeback over the Orlando Magic, 112-111, at the Amway Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

McConnell scored the game-winner with 5 seconds left and stole an Evan Fournier pass to seal the Sixers comeback from trailing by six points in the final two minutes.

On a five-game slump, the Sixers looked lethargic early in falling behind 21-6 but stormed back to close the first half strong and take a 55-48 lead at the break.

Orlando regained control in the third and went on a 10-2 run near the midway point of the fourth to take a 98-90 advantage. The Magic still led by 109-103 at the 2:01 mark before Ersan Ilyasova and Dario Saric teamed up for a 7-0 run to retake the lead, 110-109 with 35 ticks left.

Nikola Vucevic scored the Magic’s final basket in the next play before blocking Ilyasova’s attempt that set up a jump ball, which McConnell gathered to sink the pivotal shot for the Sixers.

Saric led Philadelphia (19-34) with 24 points off the bench, while Ilyasova added 16 markers. McConnell ended up with just eight points, but none bigger than his final make.

Fournier had 24 to lead the Magic, who have lost three in a row to fall to 20-35. Vucevic finished with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Serge Ibaka added 16.

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