At 8:00 PM tonight, the Miami Heat will face the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. This game is the second of four between Miami and Orlando. The Heat won the first, 108-101 on December 26th in Orlando, where they'll also meet on April 8th. They'll close the book on the season series two days later, back in Miami.
Miami just finished out a two-game roadtrip with a 14-point win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday and a 24-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. After tonight, they'll host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday before heading out for a Western Conference three-game roadtrip.
The Magic are playing in the final game of a four-game roadtrip. They lost to the Toronto Raptors, 105-100 on Sunday, the Boston Celtics, 107-96 on Monday, and 118-102 to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. After trying to salvage some dignity tonight, they'll head back home for a two-game stand, against the Chicago Bulls tomorrow and the Nets on Tuesday night.
In the last meeting between the Heat and the Magic, on the day after Christmas 2015, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each scored 24 for a 108-101 win.. Bosh also grabbed 10 rebounds, and Wade had six assists. Goran Dragic had 22 points, six rebounds, and four helpers. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Obviously I understand the ball was going to be in my hand a lot and I understand what that might mean. I kind of knew where my shots would come from and I got a couple to go, but more importantly, it was about being aggressive. - Wade, on scoring half of his points in the final quarter.
Our closest foe's SBNation hub is at Orlando Pinstriped Post.
Miami's last game was a 112-88 road loss to the Spurs. First Star Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with a career- and game-high 32 points, with eight boards. Third Star Bojan Marjanovic scored 19 points on nine-of-12 shooting in just 13 minutes. Josh Richardson came off the bench to earn the Second Star with 17 points and four assists, while Dwyane Wade (16 points), Gerald Green (13 points), Hassan Whiteside (12 points, 14 rebounds), and Justise Winslow (10 points) also finished in double figures.
He's one of the most selfish players I've been around. He shot it every time he touched it. It's incredible. He should apologize to his team tomorrow for being so greedy. He just wanted to get his name in the paper. - Popovich, kidding the press about Marjanovic's hot hand
Pounding The Rock has more on the Spurs.
Orlando lost to the Pistons, 118-102 on Wednesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, MI. Andre Drummond scored a game-high 30 points with 14 rebounds in Detroits' win, bolstered by double digit efforts from Tobias Harris (18), Reggie Jackson (16), Marcus Morris (15), Aron Baynes (13), Stanley Johnson (13), and Darrun Hilliard (11). Elfrid Payton had a triple-double in the loss for Orlando, with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 helpers. Aaron Gordon scored 15 with 11 boards.
They pretty much had everything going that they wanted tonight, and we weren't doing anything to take it away. We needed to force them into tougher shots, but we weren't doing it. - Payton
Detroit Bad Boys has more on the Pistons.
GameTime: 8PM, FS-SUN, FS-FL
All-Time Heat-to-Head: Miami is 59-45 in 104 games against their closest geographic foe. Their .567 win percentage is their 10th best mark against anyone.
Miami Heat: 41-30, .577, on pace for 47-35. Tied for second in the Southeast Division, tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, tied for ninth in the NBA. Winning Division Odds: 32.6% Last Five: W-L-W-W-L
Orlando Magic: 29-42, .408, on pace for 33-49. Fifth in the Southeast Division, 13th in the Eastern Conference, 23rd in the NBA. Making playoff odds: Nearly impossible, but theres a 2.0% chance that they'll win the lottery. Last Five: L-L-L-L-L
Luol Deng (thigh) is a game-time decision. Chris Bosh's (calf) earliest possible return has been moved to April 5th, and Tyler Johnson (shoulder) is to return no sooner than April 10th.
Nikola Vucevic (groin) may or may not play, and Ersan Ilyasova (collarbone) is due back tomorrow night.
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson
C - Amar'e Stoudemire, Hassan Whiteside
SF - Joe Johnson, Justise Winslow
PF - Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts
PG - Brandon Jennings, Elfrid Payton
SG - Victor Oladipo, CJ Watson
C - DeWayne Dedmon, Jason Smith
SF - Eric Fournier, Mario Hezonja
PF - Aaron Gordon
Dwyane Wade recently moved past Antawn Jamison and Tom Chambers into 39th on the all-time NBA scoring list. He currently has 20,052, 445 points behind Mitch Richmond.
Luol Deng will move into Miami's top 25 all-time with four more three-pointers. That would give him 157, tied in 25th with Rasual Butler and Bimbo Coles.
Goran Dragic needs 17 assists to pass Voshon Lenard into 23rd all-time, with 519.
Tune in tonight on both Florida Fox Sports networks, League Pass, or whatever illegal third-world feed you can find. The GameThread goes live just before 8PM.