Magic Musings: Afflalo's effort not enough against Heat
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Arron Afflalo recorded his third consecutive game of at least 25 points, while the Orlando Magic had a season high in 3-point field goals made with 15.
But they still couldn't make a game of it against the Miami Heat.
Even on a night when Dwyane Wade wasn't in uniform, the Heat seized control in the third quarter -- as they often tend to do -- and cruised to a 120-92 victory. The Heat topped the 100-point mark for the 12th time in as many games this season and went 15 of 24 from long range themselves.
The game began in ugly fashion for the Magic. Even with Chris Bosh going to the bench because of two quick fouls, the Heat scored the first 16 points of the game. Shane Battier and James Jones knocked down 3-pointers, while Mario Chalmers had a breakaway layup after a bad inbound pass by Afflalo.
But with the help of four 3-pointers by Afflalo, who finished with 30 points, things turned around in a hurry. The Magic went so far as to take a 32-31 lead when Maurice Harkless split a pair of free throws.
Rookie Victor Oladipo made the first regular-season start of his NBA career. He was paired with Jameer Nelson at guard for the Magic while Afflalo was moved to small forward and Harkless to power forward. Jason Maxiell had started the Magic's first 10 games at power forward and wound up being needed off the bench when center Nikola Vucevic picked up his third foul with 5:04 remaining before halftime.
Wade missed his second game in as many nights as the Heat are attempting to be careful with his knee issues.
It was nowhere as lopsided as their run to start the game. But the Heat outscored the Magic 17-8 in the opening five minutes of the third quarter to increase their lead to double figures for good. Jones, who started in place of Wade, knocked down three 3-pointers during that stretch.
LeBron James did all of his damage in the first three quarters, scoring 21 points, grabbing six rebounds and handing out seven assists. He went 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Vucevic finished with only six points and six rebounds before fouling out with 10:05 to go. He averaged 21.7 points and 21 rebounds in three games against the Heat last season.
Saturday night at Miami, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).