Heat hold off Magic

The Magic have been winning these types of games on the road all season — keep it close for 40 minutes, hang around, then use some timely 3-pointers and tight defense to quiet the home crowd. Not tonight. Despite giving up a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Heat defeated the Magic for the first time since 2006. The Magic had their chances. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson turned the ball over on the Magic’s last two possessions, and Wade was pretty ineffective in the fourth quarter. When Meer Meer tied the game at 92 with a late 3-pointer, it felt like the Magic were going to steal a road win. D-Wade was D-Wade (27 points, 8 boards, 6 assists), but the star of the night was rookie Mario Chalmers. The former Kansas star, who is developing quite the reputation as a ball-swiper, had three steals, including the game-clincher. He also posted 20 points and 6 assists. SAY IT WITH ME: ALL-STAR I’ve been as hard as Jameer on anyone (I always trade him away on NBA 2K), but tonight was just another example of how clutch this guy is. If it’s the fourth quarter and you’re guarding Jameer Nelson, DO NOT go underneath the pick and roll. Just don’t do it. He’ll hit the 3-point shot every time. The guy is unreal in the fourth quarter. Sorry, no real news here, just thought I’d give Meer Meer a few more props. JJ SITS OUT SECOND HALF The musical chairs at shooting guard is so ongoing, it really isn’t worth writing about. Van Gundy tends to ride the hot hand, but tonight it came down to match-ups. Something tells me he didn’t like the Dwyane Wade-JJ Redick matchup. After Wade went off for 16 first-half points, the white prince was stuck on the sideline in the second half and never took off his warm-up pants. Sorry ladies. SIGH OF RELIEF Rashard Lewis left the game in the third quarter after Dwight Howard smacked him in the hand. It turned out to be a sprained thumb, and he returned to action in the fourth quarter. Lewis finished the game with 21 points, including 16 in the first half when he almost single-handedly kept the Magic in it. That’s the thing about Lewis: he’s not the flashiest player, but he’s the most dependable guy the Magic have. You can always count on him getting to the rim for a lay-up or hitting a timely 3-pointer when the Magic are down. His consistency is invaluable for this young team. More tomorrow.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily