The Orlando Magic (27-40) ended their four-game homestand Saturday night against the Miami Heat (36-32). The Magic entered this matchup looking to shake off their three-game losing streak before heading on a four-game road trip. Jonathan Isaac was out of the lineup for the Magic with a torn left adductor muscle, while Caleb Martin (knee) and Duncan Robinson (health and safety protocols) were out for the Heat.
Paolo Banchero led his team with 10 points in the first quarter to take a 34-24 lead over the Heat, maintaining the lead throughout this quarter for over 10 minutes. After having a relatively weak first quarter, Miami turned up the heat, going on a 12-0 run over the course of 2 minutes and 17 seconds taking the lead by 6 points. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Max Strus combined for 22 of the team’s 31 points in the second quarter, which was key in keeping them in the game. Franz Wagner led his team in scoring during the second quarter after having a relatively quiet first quarter, putting up 11 points to help the Magic take back their lead entering the half. The Magic, now only up by 3 points (58-55), would need to tap back into the energy they had in the first quarter if they wanted to beat the now fired-up Heat team.
The third quarter saw a battle between both teams, as both competitors did not let up on the gas at all. While the Magic put up a combined team effort to win the quarter, Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 11 points to keep their deficit within 3 points. Once again, the Magic claimed another quarter as theirs, entering the fourth quarter leading the Heat 81-78. The fourth quarter saw Jalen Suggs stepping up big, scoring 11 points, 2 of which helped the Magic maintain their lead towards the final 5 seconds of the game. While Suggs secured the lead, Jimmy Butler had other plans, drilling a double-clutch 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and send the game into overtime. Butler displayed an amazing level of skill throughout the entire game, but it appeared most evident in the fourth quarter, where he lead his team with 15 crucial points. This amazing display of skill fell short in overtime, as the young Magic squad dominated the Heat to secure a much-deserved and hard-fought 126-114 win.
Wendell Carter Jr. led the Magic with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists, supported greatly by the following players: Paolo Banchero (17 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists), Franz Wagner (17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), Cole Anthony (16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists), Jalen Suggs (16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals), Markelle Fultz (12 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals), and Gary Harris (11 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 3 steals).
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 38 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal, supported by the following players: Bam Adebayo (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), Tyler Herro (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists), Gabe Vincent (13 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), and Kyle Lowry (12 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals).
The Orlando Magic (28-40) will begin their four-game road trip Tuesday night as they face off against the San Antonio Spurs (17-50). The Spurs are currently averaging 112.0 points per game while allowing 122.0 points per game, making them statistically the worst defensive team in the league. That being said, as long as the Magic continue to perform with the intensity seen against the Heat, they should have no problem beating the Spurs in their matchup.
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