Dwyane Wade brings Heat back to life in 4th quarter, Miami gets late win in O-Town.

What a ridiculous game!  I certainly didn't expect what I saw on ESPN, but that was damn entertaining.  Any win on the road against not only a division rival, but the defending conference champs who were tied for the best record in the league, is a win that I will take any way I can get it.  It may help the Heat in more ways then one, as I'm sure the Magic are pissed off...and they get to play again tomorrow, in Atlanta.  Isn't it a nice scenario for the Heat to win in Orlando and then have the Magic take out their anger on the damn Hawks?

The game started with some early aggression from the Heat's backcourt, with Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers getting Miami off to a quick 4-0 lead.  James Jones hit an early trey in the hopes of having his first good game of the season.  The Heat continued to pour it on with D-Wade and Mike Beasley getting another 4 points and Miami was off to an 11-4 start. 

An awesome defensive display when on one end Dwight Howard made a nice play to poke the ball away from Jermaine O'Neal, sending Mickael Piertus on a fast break.  When Pietrus tried to lay it up he became a victim of another disgusting D-Wade block.  A couple minutes later J-O came away with his first block when he rejected a Vince Carter layup.

After James Jones hit a three while getting fouled, the 4-point play put the Heat up 15-9.  Then Orlando stormed back and tied up the game, prompting an Erik Spoelstra timeout.  The Heat responded with 6 straight points; Miami was holding their own against a strong Orlando team, holding the Magic to just 38% shooting. 

Michael Beasley had a great 1st quarter, scoring 8 and grabbing 4 boards, but the Heat could only escape with a 2-point lead.  Starting the 2nd quarter with the big guns on the bench for both teams, Miami went on an 8-0 run to go up 38-29.  Once the starters came back it, Orlando made it rain 3's and quickly drew back within 1.

Dwight Howard and Jermaine O'Neal were playing each other very close and tempers got short when Howard ran into O'Neal who was drying to establish defensive position.  The two were separated and J-O was issued a technical foul.  The funny part is that a couple minutes later the exact same thing happened with Howard backing into O'Neal, and that time they called the offensive foul.  Go figure...

Wade hit first shot of 2nd half, which was very nice to see.  The Heat, however, we're still having trouble keeping up with the Magic and would end up playing from behind for the majority of the 3rd quarter.  It's really difficult to keep up with a team that hits 11 three pointers through three quarters. 

As the 4th quarter went by the story of the game was quickly emerging as Jason Williams, who was shooting the lights out against his former team that he won an NBA title with.  In a 35 second span Magic forward Ryan Anderson outscored the Heat 6-2, elevating Orlando's lead to 11. 

Then all of a sudden Dwyane Wade woke up.  He led the Heat on a 16-0 run, scoring 14 and assisting on the other bucked (nice pass on a Haslem dunk).  It was a string where Wade scored 16 of 18 points credited to the Heat.  I guess this got to Vince Carter, who rattled down 7 straight points of his own.

The Magic started going to Dwight Howard on the inside again, who played the last 5:33 with 5 fouls.  Miami was not going to allow Howard to get easy point, fouling him every single time he got the ball down low and forcing him to hit free throws.  Howard would take six foul shots in the final 2:08, only hitting three. 

He wasn't the only Magic player to miss some big free throws, as the star of the game for Orlando, Jason Williams, missed two HUGE shots from the charity stripe with the Magic up by 1 and only nine seconds left.  That left the door open for Miami, and despite D-Wade airballing his jumper, Michael Beasley was there to catch the ball and slam it home with just 1.7 left to play and no timeouts left for Orlando. 

There was some talk that Beasley caught the ball while it was still in the cylinder, which would have been offensive goaltending, but from what I saw the ball was almost next to the rim, off to the side, so it couldn't have been over and within the cylinder.  Regardless, it's a HUGE win for Miami and a great way to get some positive national attention. 

GAME NOTES

  • Joel Anthony had a big first half despite playing just 7 minutes.  He scored 6 points (sure, a couple of prayers went down, but give the big guy a break), came down with a rebound, a steal and three blocks.  Did I mention he played just 7 minutes?
  • I was really impressed with Dwight Howard's defense.  Active hands and quick feet, he had three steals but surprisingly no blocks. 
  • Why didn't we go after Jason Williams in the offseason?  Was whatever he had to offer back then any different then what he's been doing for the Magic all season?
  • J-O was INSANE in the 2nd half, scoring 9 of his 13 points and grabbing a ridiculous 13 boards after coming down with only 3 in the 1st half.  I couldn't believe how different he looked; I guess Dwight Howard shouldn't have been fouling Jermaine so hard in the paint. 
  • D-Wade also went 11-11 from the foul line.
  • James Jones 16 points, 4-7 shooting all from beyond.  4-4 from the line.  His best game of the season as without his offense the Heat would've been in trouble in the first half. 
  • The Heat's point guards were pretty awful.  They combined for just 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting and had just 3 assists.  Total.  Erik Spoelstra definitely noticed this because when Carlos Arroyo exited the game with 7:54 to go, the Heat went with Wade at the point along with Cook, James Jones, Haslem and Jermaine.  It was only because Jones fouled out with 9 seconds left that Michael Beasley was in the game at the end. 
  • Beasley has 42 boards in the last 4 games.  This after getting none in the game against the Thunder where Beas couldn't get off the bench. 
  • And yes, D-Wade was complaining a lot....but so was Vince Carter. 

OK that's enough...if I missed anything, that's what the comments section is for.  Everybody have a great Thanksgiving! 

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