The second-year guard scored 11 points in overtime to lead the Magic to a 95-92 victory against his former team.
Beyond the final score, the game served as an audition of sorts for those on the training camp roster battling for a final roster spot or a place with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Heat were without nine players, including all five starters: Hassan Whiteside, Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Amar'e Stoudemire, Josh McRoberts, Goran Dragic, and Udonis Haslem. Starting point guard Tyler Johnson soon joined them on the sidelines with a bruised lower back suffered midway through the first quarter.
Rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson both played well in the loss, which drops the Heat to 1-3 for the preseason. Winslow, who finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, has displayed strong defense throughout the preseason along with a tenacity to fight for boards and mix it up in the paint. The outside shot will be a work in progress for some time and his dribble-drive penetration gets him to the rim but reliably finishing with a score will also come with time.
Richardson, who led the team with 18 points, continues to intrigue with his length and athleticism, with clear skills on both sides of the court that will translate well as he improves over the course of his rookie season.
Much like in their first matchup at Louisville, the Heat had to play catch up ball through most of the game until a fourth quarter comeback made things interesting. They shot poorly to start the game, missing 13 of their first 14 shot attempts and eight of their first nine 3-point attempts. Miami also attempted just two free throw attempts in the first quarter.
Miami stayed within striking distance until Orlando started hot to open the fourth quarter by rattling off eight straight points to open up the largest lead of the night at 14 with the score 70-56. Even though it looked like they were set to control the game, the Heat then responded with a 9-0 run of their own highlighted by a 3-point play from a Birdman drive to the hoop to get within five points. Birdman followed that up minutes later with a corner 3 and Green's running jumper cut the lead to two points and the game was soon tied at 76-76.
Birdman ended up scoring 10 of his 12 points in the final quarter to help lead the comeback along with a high-octane lineup featuring Greg Whittington and Gerald Green. The Heat outscored the Magic 25-19 in the final quarter with a 24-6 run to come back from a 14-point deficit but could not hold on to their four-point lead in the closing minutes of regulation. Orlando managed to tie the game with 10 seconds left on a put-back basket by center Nnanna Egwu.
Green had a chance to win the game in regulation but his difficult turnaround jumper rattled in and then out of the rim.
Orlando raced out to take the lead in overtime but Winslow and Richardson joined forces to help Miami come back yet again with a 6-0 run. Napier then drew a foul on Richardson as he attempted a 3-pointer and sank all three of his free throws to win it once again.