On Saturday night at 7PM, the Heat will conduct a one-game road-trip, visiting the Magic at Amway Center in Orlando, FL. The teams will play a total of three more games this season after tonight's contest, March 25th in Miami, April 8th back in Orlando, and April 10th back in South Beach for the finale.
Miami just closed up a four-game homestand, losing to the Toronto Raptors 108-94 on Friday last week, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers, 116-109 on Sunday, dropping a 93-92 heartbreaker to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, then taking a 94-88 overtime decision over the New Orleans Pelicans yesterday afternoon. After tonight's game, they'll go back home for a single game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.
The Magic are playing in the second game of a four-game homestand of their own. They started it out by defeating the Houston Rockets, 104-101 on Wednesday. After tonight's matchup, they'll face the Pelicans on Monday and the Nets on Wednesday before hitting the road.
The last time Miami played Orlando was on April 13th last season, when the 35-45 Heat hosted the 25-55 Magic in AmericanAirlines Arena. Hassan Whiteside had 24 points with 13 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Heat to a 100-93 win. Dwyane Wade had 22 with five dimes, and Luol Deng scored 14 with 10 boards. Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 30 points and six rebounds, while Tobias Harris had 26 and 12.
We just came in playing as hard as we could. The fans deserve 100 percent effort from us. We're not going to sit there and back down because of the standings. We're going to try to win as many games as we can ... we still hope. - Whiteside
Yesterday, the heat used overtime to dispatch the visiting New Orleans Pelicans by a 94-88 final behind 30 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Bosh. Dwyane Wade had 19 with six boards, and Hassan Whiteside scored eight with 17 rebounds and four blocked shots. Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans with 29 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort.
Christmas Day against one of the best in the league. I'm going to rise to the occasion. - Bosh
On Wednesday night, the Magic defeated the visiting Houston Rockets, 104-101 despite 31 points and seven assists from James Harden. Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 21 points and six boards, while Tobias Harris had 19 points and eight rebounds. Eric Fournier (also known as "Do Not Google"), scored 17 with five rebounds and four assists.
t's true we won the game, but the way we did it, I thought we could have done a little better. We struggled defensively in the fourth quarter. ... It was obviously very hard to guard these guys, but we played through it. - Fournier
Line: Magic by 3 1/2
All-Time: Miami holds a 58-45 edge in head-to-head matchups against the Magic, including 12 of the last 13. Miami's .563 winning percentage is their 10th best against another team.
Miami Heat: 17-11, .607, on pace for 50-32. Second in the Southeast Division, third in the Eastern Conference, sixth in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 66.2%
Orlando Magic: 17-12, .586, on pace for 48-34. Third in the Southeast Division, sixth in the Eastern Conference, ninth in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-W-W. Playoff Odds: 64.6%
|Chris Andersen||2015-12-20||Illness||Andersen is questionable to play against the Pelicans on Friday due to an illness.|
|Tyler Johnson||2015-12-17||Shoulder||Johnson is questionable to return to the lineup Friday against the Pelicans due to a shoulder injury.|
|Josh McRoberts||2015-12-11||Knee||McRoberts will not suit up Friday against the Pelicans due to knee soreness.|
|C.J. Watson||2015-11-11||Calf||Watson had a setback in his recovery for an injured calf and remains without a return timetable.|
Shabazz Napier plays for the Magic now - but last year he appeared in 51 games for the Heat, averaging 5.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 assists and 0.8 steals in 19.8 minutes per game.
The Magic are one of the five teams that Josh McRoberts played for before landing in Miami. He played in 41 games for the Magic in 2012-13, scoring four points with three rebounds and two assists per game.
Beno Udrih also played part of 2012-13 with the Magic, appearing 27 times and averaging 10.2 points and 6.1 assists in 27 minutes per game.
Orlando Pinstriped Post will tell you everything you need to know about the Magic. Check back here for the GameThread, tomorrow at 7PM.