Nikola Vucevic put together the finest performance of his brief professional career on Monday, but his 20 points and team-record-setting 29 rebounds weren't enough to put his Orlando Magic over the top against the visiting Miami Heat on New Year's Eve. Miami prevailed by a final score of 112-110 in overtime.
The loss drops Orlando to 0-6 without Glen Davis.
Without Jameer Nelson and E`Twaun Moore, the Magic received balanced scoring as Arron Afflalo's 28 points led four other Magic players in double digits. Behind him were J.J. Redick (23 points), Vucevic, Josh McRoberts (12 points, a season-high), and Andrew Nicholson (10).
Third-string point guard Ish Smith got his second start filling in for the injured Nelson and Moore. Though Smith played 14 minutes, it was Hedo Turkoglu who ran the offense for Orlando. His playmaking abilities helped Orlando's thin point guard rotation. Turkoglu finished with nine points and eight assists, but did commit five turnovers.
Miami turned the Magic's 17 turnovers into 27 points, none bigger than Dwyane Wade's fast-break jam with 6.2 seconds remaining in overtime. Wade intercepted a pass Redick intended to throw to Turkoglu and took it the length of the floor for the easiest two points he'd score all night, giving Miami a four-point lead.
The crowd of 19,311 set a new attendance record for Amway Center, but many of the fans in attendance supported Miami.
Monday's game featured 13 lead changes. Despite McRoberts' best efforts, the Magic were unable to contain LeBron James. The reigning Most Valuable Player poured in 36 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists, going 15-of-16 from the foul line.
Wade atoned for a Dwight Howard-like showing from the foul line--he went 3-of-10--by making the key steal of Redick's pass.
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