Magic Outlast Heat In Overtime


In a game that was very close and back-and-forth, the Orlando Magic let a 12-point fourth quarter lead slip away but bounced back in overtime to defeat the Miami Heat 108-102. Dwyane Wade went off for 36 points and 10 rebounds and was instrumental during Miami’s comeback. Dwight Howard once again got into foul trouble and his struggles against the Heat continued, so the Magic relied on Vince Carter’s 27 points and Rashard Lewis’ 24 points to lead them to victory. It was Orlando 10th victory in their last 11 games.


NBA Stats

Orlando’s defense was shaky at best during the first half of Thursday night’s game. Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first half, but turned it up on the defensive end in the second half. During the first 24 minutes, each team scored 54 points, but in the second half, they scored 41 points each. The Magic were completely shutting down the Heat in the second half and had an 88-76 lead until Dwyane Wade took over down the stretch. Wade did an excellent job of getting his teammates involved and scored 7 points down the in the last six minutes, even giving the Heat a one-point lead at 93-92 before the Magic bounced back with a couple of huge jumpers by Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson to force overtime.

Orlando went down 100-99 in overtime but dominated from that point on, finishing the game on a 9-2 run.

Considering that these are two of the top 10 defensive teams in the league, the first half is the anomaly.

Vince Carter was the star for the Magic. He didn’t shoot the ball as well as he has recently (9-of-21 from the field, 3-of-10 from beyond the arc) but he was aggressive, got the hoop and got his teammates involved. He finished with 27 points and 6 assists. Carter was especially good in overtime. With the Magic leading by one, Carter hit a jumper while drawing a foul and hit the free throw to push Orlando’s lead to four with just over two minutes to go. Carter then hit another free throw and with the Magic leading by three with 28 seconds to go, Carter dished the ball to a wide open Rashard Lewis, who drained a three and put the Heat away. Carter also played 46 minutes on the second day of a back-to-back, which may have been as impressive of a feat as any for the veteran.

Lewis was also impressive for the second straight game. He scored 7 of Orlando’s 13 points in the overtime period and finished with 24 points, just a day after scoring 20 points. Lewis took a lot more shots on Thursday (he was 8-of-17 from the field). Not only did Lewis shoot the three-pointer well (4-of-8) but he was much more assertive and drove to the basket, which in turn opened up that three-point shot. With two good games in a row, it looks like Lewis is officially out of his funk.

Jameer Nelson, who had a very quiet first half, was excellent in the second half. When the Magic had trouble scoring in the second half, Nelson got the team going. Nelson also made what was arguably the biggest shot of the night when his 20-foot jumper tied it at 95 and eventually sent the game to overtime. Nelson finished the game with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

For the second consecutive game, Dwight Howard got into foul trouble, had his minutes limited and was not very effective on the offensive end.
Howard, who entered the game averaging just 12.0 points per game against the Heat this season, only managed 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Howard couldn’t be as aggressive as he’d like and played only 31 of the 53 minutes, but that wasn’t the whole story. Jermaine O’Neal, who has played well against the Magic this season, gave Howard all he could handle, even blocking a couple of Howard’s shots. Howard did make some big plays when it counted. He got a few big offensive rebounds and made a huge block down the stretch.

Orlando didn’t shoot the ball that well (51.7% eFG), shot the ball poorly from the free throw line (17-of-25, 68%) and got almost no offensive production from Dwight Howard but were able to win the game by hitting 11 three-pointers, outrebounding Miami 36-31 and holding the Heat 45.5% eFG.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was proud of his guys for working hard to win a game in which they were obviously tired, playing for the second time in 24 hours.

Game Notes:

  • Orlando had five players score in double figures while the Heat had just three.
  • Former Magic guard Carlos Arroyo was effective. He scored 11 points and dished out 5 assists.
  • Not only did Dwyane Wade score 36 points, but he led the Heat with 10 rebounds.
  • Orlando had 44 points in the paint to Miami’s 34.
  • Dwight Howard picked up another technical foul and is now just one away from a suspension.

Next Up: The Magic get three days off before heading to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Monday night.

Final Thought: The Magic got a tough win on another off-night from Howard.

(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).