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Heat 108, Magic 101: Magic crumble in the second half against in-state rivals

The Magic couldn't hold onto a lead in the second half, collapsing against the Heat.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Back in action after two days off, the Orlando Magic looked to keep their momentum going against their in-state rival Miami Heat. After a strong first half, the Magic unraveled in the second, falling to the Heat 108-101.

Early on the Magic looked like a team that was well rested, jumping on a sluggish Heat team early. Orlando's offense moved the ball at a high level consistently, while their defense smothered the Heat, forcing them into tough shots on many trips. The Magic notched nine assists on 10 made field goals in the quarter, including four from Evan Fournier, who continued to see his play return to the form it had early in the season. Orlando's ability to get Heat big man Hassan Whiteside in foul trouble early opened up driving lanes, leading to good looks on many of their attempts.

The Magic's strong play continued into the second quarter, with the team knocking down four three-pointers in the quarter to help push their lead to as many as 12 late in the half. The Magic continued to move the ball at a high level, notching nine assists on 13 made field goals throughout the quarter. Miami was able to get to the free throw line eight times in the quarter, but inconsistent play on the defensive end caught the visitors on the wrong end of the score heading into the half.

After the halftime break, the Magic quickly pushed the lead up to 15, before falling flat, allowing the Heat to quickly get back in the game. Behind a 9-0 run, the Heat cut the Magic lead down to just two, forcing the Magic into mistakes and misses on many possessions. The Heat outscored the Magic 21-8 in hustle points, including 14-6 in the painted area in the quarter. Despite their struggles, the Magic were able to hold onto their lead the entire quarter, taking a seven point lead, 76-69, into the final quarter.

Having regained some momentum at the end of the third quarter, things were looking up for the Magic once again. However, a flat start to the fourth quarter, coupled with a 9-2 Heat run, saw the Magic's lead evaporate completely, with Miami taking their first lead since the early stages of the game. Miami strung the Magic's defense out, taking advantage of Orlando over rotating, knocking down four three-pointers early in the quarter.

With Chris Bosh having his way with anyone the Magic threw at him, the Heat turned to their other star, Dwyane Wade for a boost late. Wade took the game over late, scoring 12 points in the quarter to help the Heat push their lead to as many as five. Despite strong play from Elfrid Payton late, the Magic were unable to overcome struggles on the defensive end, falling to the Heat late.

Bosh and Wade led all scorers, finishing with 24 apiece. Goran Dragic finished with a season-high 22 points, with Gerald Green adding 15 off the bench for the Heat.

Six Magic players finished in double figures, led by Vucevic's 22-point, 10-rebound double-double. Payton scoring 10 int he fourth to finish with 16, while Tobias Harris notched 13 on the night. Fournier struggled shooting the ball, finishing with 11, while Channing Frye and Jason Smith each finished with 10.