AP Photo/John Raoux
9-14 FG | 7-10 FT | 2 BLK | 24 REB | 25 PTS | +8
One of the reasons why the Magic matchup well with the Miami Heat is because of Howard. There was no one for the Heat that could stop Howard from doing whatever he wanted on offense. But most importantly, it was Howard manning the middle for Orlando defensively that aided in their victory. Miami struggled at times to finish at the rim, while getting out-rebounded in the process.
8-19 FG | 5-11 3P | 3 AST | 11 REB | 27 PTS | +6
Anderson played like a man possessed in the first half, scoring 24 points on 12 shots and making five three-pointers in the process. The Heat had no answer for him, whether it was Chris Bosh or Udonis Haslem defending Anderson. He cooled down in the second half but the damage was done. Is there any doubt that this point that Anderson isn’t playing at an All-Star caliber level?
5-13 FG | 2-6 3P | 1 STL | 3 REB | 12 PTS | +13
Nelson had a quiet game but he was part of a key sequence in the fourth quarter as Miami was trying to rally back from a 21-point deficit. Redick missed two three-point attempts in transition, the basketball went out of bounds, but the Magic were able to retain possession. Nelson made a three-pointer shortly thereafter, extending Orlando’s lead to 12 points with 3:54 left in the game.
4-10 FG | 3-7 3P | 4 AST | 1 REB | 11 PTS | -4
Like Nelson, Redick had a quiet game on offense but he was able to make an impact in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of his 11 points in the period. Perhaps more importantly, though, is the fact that he aided in Anderson’s second quarter barrage offensively. Redick ran a 2/5 staggered pick-and-roll with Anderson and Glen Davis to perfection, feeding Anderson for a three-point shot on one occasion.
Outside of Dwyane Wade, no one for the Heat played better than good. Wade was great, annihilating the Magic in the second quarter with 18 points on an array of dunks, layups, and midrange jumpers. Wade was equally effective in the fourth quarter but he didn’t get much help outside of James and Bosh. And it’s Safe to say that James and Bosh, in particular, had off-nights.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.