Magic Musings: Orlando puts on strong showing in loss

Sparked by the return of Glen Davis, the Orlando Magic gave the Miami Heat all they could handle and then some.

Unlike Wednesday night in Orlando, the Magic were competitive from start to finish. But the Heat still prevailed, as LeBron James’ jump shot over Arron Afflalo with 15.1 seconds to go broke a tie and gave them a 101-99 victory.

James scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half. The Heat needed every single one of them after the Magic had built a 55-39 halftime lead, making nine of their 13 attempts from 3-point range in doing so.

Although the Magic also had nine 3-pointers before halftime in their 120-92 loss to the Heat earlier in the week, that’s where the similarities between the two games pretty much ended.

The Heat had Dwyane Wade available this time around, and he ended up leading all scorers with 27 points. But the Magic had Davis, who was playing for the first time since fracturing his left foot Jan. 30.

Over the final 9:33, coach Jacque Vaughn went almost exclusively with a lineup consisting of Davis, Afflalo, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson, who joined Nick Anderson as the only players in Magic history to start in 500 games for them.

Rookie Victor Oladipo had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Magic in his second start. Best of all, he was guilty of only one turnover after accounting for 17 combined in the previous two games.

The turning point

The Magic saw their 16-point halftime lead disappear when the Heat outscored them 27-11 in the opening seven minutes of the third quarter. After missing all 10 of their 3-point attempts in the first half, the Heat went four of seven from that distance during their run.

The difference maker

Regardless of the outcome, that distinction belongs to Davis. He wasted no time in making an impact, finishing with 20 points and five rebounds while playing the entire fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see how long Vaughn goes before deciding to insert Davis into the starting lineup.

Stat of the game

The loss was the Magic’s 17th in a row on the road dating back to last season. The previous franchise record was 16, set Jan. 27-March 21 of 2006.

What’s next

Sunday night vs. Phoenix, 6 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at