Magic take out Heat thanks to Dwight Howard, 3-point shooting

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 08: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat hugs Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the game at Amway Center on February 8, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat didn't get their 6-game road trip off to a very good start last night, losing to the host Orlando Magic 102-89. The Heat fell behind by 17 in the first half, only to claw their way back into the game, trimming the lead down to 3 by halftime. After briefly trailing by 1 point, Miami went ice cold the rest of the 3rd quarter, missing 17-of-22 from the field.

Dwight Howard was great for the Magic, finishing with 25 points and a ridiculous 24 rebounds. The guy already had a double double before the 1st quarter was over. Generally, Howard dominates and always gets his stats, but tonight he was a force throughout the game. He is the main reason that Orlando is a team that I wouldn't want to see in a 7-game series, though I do think that the Heat would figure out a way to somewhat stymie him.

It also helped that Orlando made 17 three pointers. They had three players hit at least three triples, but more impressive is that they had seven different players hit a 3. The Magic are a team that lives and dies by the 3, and tonight they lived pretty fat at the expense of the Heat.

Dwyane Wade continues to look better and better for the Heat as he works his way back from injury. Playing in his 8th straight game after missing the previous six with an ankle injury, Wade led the charge on the one comeback that Miami made last night. In the 2nd quarter, D-Wade scored 18 of his game-high 33 points, making 9 of his 10 shots.

LeBron James scored 17 points to go with his 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Chris Bosh scored half of his points in the 4th quarter, finishing with 12 and 9 rebounds. Bosh and James combined to make just 10 of their 28 shots, and that's on a night where the Heat made 47.4% of their shots as a team.

GAME NOTES

  • LeBron James scored in double figures for the 382nd consecutive game.
  • Shane Battier had one of his best offensive games of the season, making 3 of his 5 shots, including a pair of triples, to finish with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
  • Dwight Howard (24) and Ryan Anderson (11) combined for three less rebounds then the entire Heat team.
  • Howard's 24 rebounds are the most any player has grabbed against the Heat this season.
  • This was the sixth time this season that Howard picked up 20 points and 20 rebounds.
  • Dexter Pittman got some minutes tonight with the Heat going big against Howard. He finished with 2 points and 4 rebounds.
  • The Magic outscored Miami 23-9 in second chance points.
  • Mario Chalmers injured his left hand in the Heat's win over Cleveland on Tuesday. He sat out the game against Orlando and hopes to be back in the lineup on Friday.

This snapped the Heat's 3-game win streak. They will continue their 6-game road trip on Friday night when they face the Washington Wizards for the first time this season.

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