Quick Recap: Magic – 96 Heat – 80

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On Orlando’s opening possession, Dwight Howard showed off the passing skills that those close to the Magic have been raving about lately when he threw a pass out to an open Jameer Nelson, who knocked down a three-pointer. The Magic had an early 5-0 advantage but the Heat went on a 16-7 run to take a four-point lead. The Magic quickly tied the game on two Jameer Nelson free throws and a nice drive by Rashard Lewis. The rest of the quarter was back-and-forth. The Magic closed the quarter strong, scoring the final four points capped by a Marcin Gortat tip-in with 3.5 seconds left in the quarter to take a 26-24 lead. A Matt Barnes steal set the play up. Before that steal,  Barnes had a tip-in that cut Miami’s lead to 22-21. Dwyane Wade scored 9 points, but shot just 2-of-7 from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line. Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter each picked up two fouls in the quarter. Neither team shot the ball well – the Heat were 8-of-19 from the field and the Magic were 9-of-21 from the field and just 1-of-5 from downtown.

The Magic built a 7-point lead in the second quarter on a J.J. Redick three-point play. The Magic offense went cold after that and Rashard Lewis kept them alive. He drove for a layup, hit a short jumper, drew a foul, hit two free throws and then hit a midrange jumper. During the same span, the Heat were able to take a one-point lead at 45-44. The Magic scored the next 8 points before the Heat got a three-point play by Rafer Alston to cut the lead to 52-48 at the half. Dwyane Wade finished the half with 17 points on  5-of-12 shooting. Orlando was led by Lewis’ 12 points but also got 10 points from both Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson. Dwight Howard really struggled in the first half. He was limited to 3 points on 0-of-4 shooting. He played just 12:17 in the first half because of his 3 fouls.  Miami only shot 9-of-24 in the period while the Magic shot 8-of-15 from the field. Orlando continued to struggle from beyond the arc, going 1-of-9 in the first half. They did however, get it going from the free throw line. They were 17-of-19 from the charity stripe. The Magic let the Heat grab 9 offensive rebounds, score 9 second-chance points and score 22 points in the paint.

The Magic kept building their third quarter lead but they couldn’t quite pull away. In fact, they had a 9-point lead cut to 3, 67-64. Sparked by a Rashard Lewis three-pointer, the Magic closed the half out on an 9-0 run to take a 76-64 lead into the fourth quarter. The Magic did a much better job on the glass in the period – each team grabbed 9 rebounds. Orlando shot just 8-of-17 but made three of their eight three-point attempts and held the Heat to just 6-of-17 shooting. Dwyane Wade had a quiet third and entered the final quarter with 21 points. Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter each had 17 points to lead the Magic. Lewis had 5 in the quarter while Carter had 7.

The Magic, who limited the Heat to just 16 third quarter points, continued to play good defense in the final quarter and held the Heat to 16 points in the final quarter as well. Miami shot just 7-of-17 in the quarter as did the Magic. Orlando never led by less than 10 points in the final quarter and came away with a 96-80 victory.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 21 points but he did not score in the fourth quarter. Rashard Lewis led all scorers with 22 points. Vince Carter added 17 and Jameer Nelson had 12. J.J. Redick scored 15 points off of the bench and Marcin Gortat had 9 points and 7 rebounds.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).