USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Heat continue to play down to the competition but still managed to squeak by an Orlando Magic team missing Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis.
The Miami Heat had a golden opportunity to steal a win over the Orlando Magic in the closing moments of regulation despite continuing to display the same bad habits during their two-game losing streak on the road.
Unfortunately the referees either were unable to spot an obvious foul on Chris Bosh as he attempted a difficult fadeaway shot over Josh McRoberts or didn't want to make that call at that point in the game.
No matter, LeBron James took over in the overtime period with 10 of the Heat's 13 points in overtime and Dwyane Wade (sort of) made up for a puzzling game with a steal and easy dunk to seal the victory for a much-need victory to close their road trip and finish off 2012 on a high note. LeBron has now scored 20+ points in all 29 games so far this season and 50 straight games overall.
Nikola Vukevic had the best game of his short career with 20 points and 29 rebounds, which set a record for most boards from a Heat opposing player. Arron Afflalo also had a very strong game with 28 points and gave the Heat fits from all over the court. J.J. Redick scored 23 points off the bench. The Magic used a bigger lineup quite effectively and out-rebounded the Heat 50-33 and had twice as many offensive rebounds as the Heat.
Ray Allen had a strong game for the Heat with 17 points on an efficient 6-9 shooting from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc.
Though the Heat managed to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, this certainly wasn't a feel-good victory as they continued to display the same poor habits that they have recently displayed on the road. They also continue to play down to the competition, this time against a Magic team missing Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis and lost their top two scoring players from last season in Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson. The Heat continue to get destroyed on rebounding as well as second chance points and their effort level during this game was noticeably up-and-down.
The Heat's defense turned it up in crunch time and in the overtime period, allowing the Heat to stop the bleeding and pull ahead from the Magic thanks to LeBron, though he displayed questionable shot selection throughout the game.
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