Grades: Miami Heat 97, Orlando Magic 96 | Magic Basketball



Mar 07

Grades: Miami Heat 97, Orlando Magic 96

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AP Photo/J Pat Carter


Miami Heat 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
11-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 21 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | +9

No, Vucevic didn’t grab a franchise-record 29 rebounds this time around, but he did tie a career-high with 25 points to help fuel his second 20-20 game of his career (both taking place this season against the Heat). It was déjà vu all over again, as Vucevic towered over Miami’s undersized frontline, and channeled his inner-Moses Malone with offensive rebounds and putbacks galore.

Jameer Nelson
6-18 FG | 3-11 3P | 2 REB | 14 AST | 16 PTS | +9

Missing 12 shots is bad, but the night wasn’t a total disaster for Nelson. He did a good enough job of distributing the basketball and setting up his teammates, flicking passes all over the court like a game of darts. Most of the times Nelson got a bullseye (14 assists — one shy of his career-high). Other times he missed (six turnovers).

Tobias Harris
6-15 FG | 3-5 FT | 7 REB| 1 AST | 16 PTS | +6

Harris was involved on a game-changing sequence that proved to be costly for the Magic. With less than a minute left and Orlando up 96-93, Harris made a floater off the dribble along the baseline as he collided with Shane Battier. A whistle was blown. The call? Offensive foul. It was a bang-bang play that proved to be the Magic’s undoing.

Arron Afflalo
5-16 FG | 0-5 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -13

It’s been feast or famine with Afflalo. When he’s good, like he was against the New Orleans Hornets on Monday, he’s very good. When he’s bad, well, you get the picture. Miami put the clamps on Afflalo after he had his way with the Hornets. The Heat forced Afflalo into a lot of contested shots from the perimeter and he obliged by missing them.

Miami Heat

Miami played with fire against Orlando and almost got burned. Pun intended. After leading by as many as 20 points early in the third quarter, the Heat were trailing with less than a minute to go and in serious danger of having their franchise-high 15-game winning streak snapped to the lowly Magic. Fortunately for the Heat, LeBron James bailed them out with a game-winning layup.


There is no problem to give the Magic its dues, but the Heat was responsible for putting themselves in that tight situation. They have no one to blame but themselves. The Magic did not play way better than the Knicks, or than Memphis, and definitely not even close to what Sacramento played at AAA. If Miami kept the focus during the whole game we would not be having this conversation. Fact. Props to the Magic  


I watched this game and almost thought I was finally going to catch a win!  Sadly, it didn't really work out that way but you have to give major props to this Magic team.  These guys aren't quitters or tankers or whatever you want to call them.  Despite the losses, I'll always remember this year's team as one with a lot of heart after the dreadful Dwightmare season.


@jrk747 Yes, Miami is a much better basketball team than the Orlando Magic at this point.  Fact.  No one would dispute this.