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Magic fail to execute late, fall to rival Heat, 99-92

The Magic had a close game going into the fourth quarter, but struggles in the final 12 minutes caused them to fall against their in-state rivals.

Shawne Williams, Maurice Harkless, and Shabazz Napier
Shawne Williams, Maurice Harkless, and Shabazz Napier
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Orlando Magic hosted the Miami Heat at the Amway Center. After staging a furious fourth quarter comeback in Charlotte on Friday night, the Magic fell short, falling to the Heat 99-92.

Early in the game, the two in-state foes went back and forth, before the Heat's hot three point shooting started to make a difference. Miami knocked down their first four attempts from three in the quarter, helping them push their lead to as many as six midway through the quarter. Victor Oladipo got going early with his play on the defensive end leading to a couple of easy buckets on the break. Oladipo led all Magic scorers with six, while Chris Bosh led the way for the Heat, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in the first 12 minutes.

After struggling with their offense in the first quarter, the Magic began to find their groove some in the second. Their 10-of-18 mark from the field, and 8-of-11 mark from the free throw line kept them in their game. Miami's three point shooting was the biggest issue for the Magic in the first half, seeing the Heat take a +15 advantage into the halftime break. Orlando dominated the painted area, outscoring Miami 28-12 in the first half. Nikola Vucevic led all scorers at the half, finishing with 15 in the half. Bosh was right on his heels, however, scoring 14 to lead the Heat.

Coming out of halftime, the Magic were flat offensively, not moving the ball and relying on forced post ups for Vucevic to try to manufacture offense. With his team down six, and the game in danger of slipper out of control, Jacque Vaugh inserted Elfrid Payton into the lineup to give the team a spark. A couple of big buckets, and some good play on the defensive end later, the Magic were right back in it, just down one heading into the final quarter. Vucevic dominated on the offensive glass, grabbing eight offensive boards in the quarter, while pushing his point total to 21. Bosh continued to lead the Heat with 18 through three.

With the game within reach, the Magic began to struggle once again. Poor play on both ends of the floor, along with poor coaching from Vaughn got the Magic in an eight point hole with just over four minutes to play. Orlando's failure to execute late, coupled with the Heat's hot shooting, proved to be too much as the Heat cruised to a late victory.

Miami was led by Bosh, who finished with a team high 32. Mario Chalmers, starting in place of the injured Norris Cole, finished with 24 points and eight assists, with Shabazz Napier contributed 12 off the bench. Shawne Williams rounded out the Heat in double figures, finishing with 10 on the night.

Vuceivc, who leads the league with 11 double-doubles, had a career night, scoring a career high 33 points, to go along with 17 rebounds. After a good first quarter, Oladipo struggled, scoring eight the rest of the way to finish with 14 on the night. Evan Fournier rounded out the Magic men in double figures, finishing with 11.