Magic Musings: Orlando stifles LeBron James but still falls to Heat

Ken Hornack takes a closer look at how the Magic, despite catching LeBron James on an off night, were left with a home loss to the two-time defending champion Heat on Saturday night.

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) blocks a shot by Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo (4) during the first half Saturday.

John Raoux / AP

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic ended up with a 27-8 advantage in fast-break points on the Miami Heat and caught LeBron James on a night when he went 3 of 10 from the floor through three quarters.

It mattered not a tiny bit to the two-time defending NBA champions.

The Magic trailed by only two points at halftime before the Heat went on a typical third-quarter run and cruised to a 110-94 victory. The loss was the Magic's 15th in 16 games this season where their opponents have scored 100 or more points.

Jameer Nelson had a season-high 21 points, while Tobias Harris finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Magic's second consecutive game without center Nikola Vucevic (sprained left ankle). But Arron Afflalo was held to less 20 points for the third game in a row and failed to hit a 3-point field goal for the second time this week.

Dwyane Wade had 20 points in 35 minutes after it was uncertain whether the Heat would play him or give him and his knees the night off. Chris Bosh made all nine of his field-goal attempts and also finished with 20 points, while James' eight rebounds and eight assists more than made up for one of his lowest scoring performances all season (15 points).

Forward Andrew Nicholson made his fourth start of the season and his first since Dec. 9 for the Magic. But he was pulled with 5:34 to go in the first quarter and never returned. Victor Oladipo started the second half in place of him.

The Magic's next five games are all on the road. They won't play again at home, where their record is 7-11, until Jan. 15 against the Chicago Bulls.


The Magic went scoreless for more than three minutes in the third quarter after taking a 59-58 lead on a basket by Glen Davis. The Heat's 15-0 run included a four-point play by Rashard Lewis where he nailed a 3-pointer and was fouled by Tobias Harris.


Lewis, who was averaging less than 19 minutes a game, made the most of a rare start by scoring a season-high 18 points in 32 minutes against the team with which he spent three-plus seasons (2007-10).


The Magic finished with a 41-40 edge in rebounds. They had been outrebounded by double figures in each of their five previous games without Vucevic.


Monday night at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).

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