A quick disclaimer: I'm writing this as I watch the game - and I entitled the article "Heat defeat Magic" before watching for even a minute. Maybe I'm overconfident - but in the fourth year of Miami's reign over the Eastern Conference maybe this team has earned it.
Miami started out by winning the first quarter, 32-30. Chris Bosh led the way with 11 points and LeBron James pitched in nine as each of them also grabbed three rebounds. Mario Chalmers scored five but turned the ball over three times in his efforts. Tobias Harris led the way for the Magic with 10 points and three rebounds.
Kyle O'Quinn started off the scoring in the second, putting back a miss to tie things up at 32. At the other end, Chris Andersen made one-of-two foul shots for a one-point lead. Andersen fouled Victor Oladipo at the other end, who also made one-of-two. Dwyane Wade tried an alley-oop with the Birdman soon thereafter, but was too strong on the pass. He was fouled a moment later and regained Miami's lead by hitting both of them. On the ensuing possession, Wade anticipated an Oladipo pass and stole it, driving the length of the court for a slam dunk. Wade hit a pull-up jumper from 18-feet the next time down for a personal six-point run. After a failed possession for each team, O'Quinn hit a two-footer to cut the lead to four. Norris Cole missed a layup on Miami's next chance, then fouled Oladipo. Next, the BIrdman fouled him and Nikolas Vukevic hit a layup. The HEAT lost the ball out of bounds, their ninth turnover of the game in only 16 minutes. Greg Oden made his first appearance and Wade got fouled. Bosh drove to the basket and earned a foul from Andrew Nicholson, missing the shot but making both free throws to push the HEAT back on top by four. Oden fouled Olapido on a drive, then watched him hit two free throws. Wade hit a nifty fadeaway, Bosh missed a three pointer, but LeBron grabbed the rebound and assisted on a Bosh layup. Orlando hit a shot, the Oden made a nice post move on Vucevic for an easy layup. After a pair of freebies by the Magic, Cole hit a 17-foot jumper from the right side. Harris missed a three-pointer, then Cole made one for a game high nine-point lead. Vucevic made a shot, the Cole missed a three, but Chalmers got the rebound for another full possession which ended with a two-point play by Oden (he missed the free throw). Bosh blocked a Vucevic layup, then James hit Oden for an alley-oop and an 11-point lead. Miami called a time out after a Magic three-pointer. The HEAT led 56-48 with 2:29 remaining in the half. After a failed Magic possession, LBJ tried to hit Oden for another alley-oop, but the ball popped out of the basket as he earned a foul. Oden made both. Bosh fouled Harris on a drive, and Harris made both foul shots. Nelson slammed home another two, then Wade missed one, and E'Twaun Moore made one of two foul shots. Wade hit a seven-foot turnaround jump hook with his left hand the next time down. LBJ stole the inbound pass with 10 seconds left, but was mugged trying for the easy layup. He made one-of-two foul shots as the half closed at 61-53.
Second Quarter Observations
- That Dwyane guy is pretty good at basketball.
- I can't stand that clear mask on LeBron.
- Bosh leads Miami with 15 points and three boards, but James is over halfway to another triple-double, with 10 points, six rebounds, and six helpers.
- Greg Oden is having his most productive appearance of the season, with eight points on three-of-three shooting in just eight minutes.
The Magic started the second half with possession, and Moe Harkless drove to the hoop with three seconds on the shot clock, earning a foul from Bosh. He made one-of-two. Chalmers threw a tight bounce pass to Bosh for a layup in tight quarters. Vucevic laid one up over James, then Wade missed a jumper from the left side as the HEAT lead stood at seven. Wade collected a long rebound off a Magic missed shot, dishing down the court to a streaking LeBron for a quick layup. Bosh fouled Harris, who made both shots from the stripe. Rio missed a layup, and Nelson missed a jumper, followed by a pretty Wade runner for a nine-point lead with three minutes gone in the half. Vucevic drove for a powerful slam after the break, followed by a Shane Battier corner three from the left side. Oladipo missed a three-pointer, the Birdman missed a jumper from the foul line, then Oladipo hit Harris for a half-court alley-oop. Battier scored two more on a tough looking jumper, then Wade hit James for an alley-oop and a dozen point lead for the good guys. The Magic missed two field goals, then the Birdman tucked home a Battier miss. Andersen blocked a shot, but Vucevic put the ball back in the hoop to keep the Magic deficit at 12. Oladipo sunk one-of-two free throws, then Wade scored two on a turnaround jumper high off the glass. Nicholson was fouled for two made free throws, then James made two on the HEAT's turn down the court. Oladipo was fouled again, but missed both shots. Chalmers kept it for himself the next time down, driving right up the middle for an easy layup. Chalmers fouled Oladipo, again, and Oladipo made both shots to cut the lead down to 13. James made a difficult looking jumper with two on the shot clock from 18-feet out on the right side. Allen drilled a three to push the lead out to a game high 18 with three minutes left in the quarter. James sunk a 20-foot fadeaway for his 19th and 20th point of the night. O'Quinn made two foul shots, then Michael Beasley missed a three pointer, but blocked O'Quinn's shot the next time down to redeem himself. Allen missed a three-pointer from the left corner and the quarter ended with the HEAT leading by 16, 89-73.
Third Quarter Observations
James ended the quarter with 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Bosh and Wade had 17 points each, in a dogfight for second banana.
Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo had 18 apiece to lead the Magic.
Cole opened the quarter by missing a runner, but the Birdman slammed it home. Nelson missed a three for the Magic, and Beasley made a right-handed shot from the right side. The Magic missed another shot, then Beasley committed an offensive foul to give Orlando another chance. O'Quinn made good with a jumper from the left side, but Wade one-upped him with a Eurostepping hook shot from the top of the key and a made free throw for a game best 21-point lead. Moore made a long two from the right side, then both teams missed their next two shots before Cole was fouled heading for the net. He made both shots. Moore made another extra long two-pointer, this time from the left, and Cole made a running 13-footer from the top of the key. Wade went high off the glass for another field goal, and O'Quinn matched him with a slam dunk on the return trip.
Miami led the Magic by 21 points with 7:26 left in regulation, and if you were there in person or paying attention on the broadcast, you would have noticed that a few HEAT fans were late for the door. C'mon HEAT nation! That's no way to support the defending World Champions!!! This is why the rest of the League thinks that the HEAT are "Hollywood." What are we, the Lakers? But I'll get off my soapbox. The commercial is over, after all.
As official "garbage-time" started, Harkless led off with a missed dunk, but earned a foul and hit both free throws. Wade threw the ball out of bounds, and Harkless made a two. Beasley followed with a left handed shot that found pay dirt at the bottom of the net. Harris hit a 20-footer for the Magic, then Beasley made a difficult looking 20-foot turnaround. Wade then blocked a layup by Harris. Harkless made a layup, and Wade hit a jumper from the foul line with five minutes remaining. Nicholson hit a shot, then Allen sunk an 18-footer from the right side. Doron Lamb missed two short shots, but Quinn slammed home the rebound for two points. Toney air balled one after the break, but the Magic couldn't find the net either. Both teams ran up and down the court missing shots for a few minutes before Dewayne Dedmon finally found pay dirt for the Magic, cutting the lead to 12 with just over a minute remaining. Udonis Haslem had a layup to close out the scoresheet on the night.
Fourth Quarter Observations
- Wade is playing a lot younger these days. It looks like he's having a lot of fun out there. He hit 10-of-14 shots on the night, scoring 24 points with four rebounds and a block.
- Cole had a few nice moments, but for the most part it seems the "magic" has gone out of his offensive game.
- James did not appear in the fourth quarter, finishing with a 20/9/7 line.
- Tobias Harris led the Magic with 20, and Kyle O'Quinn had 14 points and a career high 15 rebounds in a losing effort.
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