The Orlando Magic were moments away from staying alive with style, putting the finishing touches on a Game 5 beatdown of the Atlanta Hawks to send their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series back to Philips Arena for Game 6 on Thursday. Stan Van Gundy's squad held a 23-point lead and possession of the ball with less than 10 seconds left in the game. It was all over but the shoutin', and since SVG doesn't much care for shoutin', he decided to get a head start and beat the traffic to the locker room.
Which would've been fine, except that reserve Atlanta big man Hilton Armstrong elected to foul Magic backup point guard Chris Duhon with 7.1 seconds left, unnecessarily extending a game that (if we're being frank) felt like it lasted a bit too long as it was. The game continued, but Orlando's coach just kept on keeping on down the tunnel. His exit was captured by the Orlando broadcast team, leaving a nation of onlookers — well, those that hadn't already flipped over to catch the rest of Bulls/Pacers, anyway — having Alan Ladd flashbacks. It was kind of an odd scene.
Soon after the final buzzer had actually sounded, though, the pep in Van Gundy's step made a bit more sense. He was probably just really, really excited to get to his postgame press conference and sling some zings at the ink-and-pixel-stained wretches covering his team.