Playing in their penultimate game of the season, the Orlando Magic traveled down south to take on their in-state rival Miami Heat. The Heat controlled the game almost the entire way, easily beating the Magic
From the start, it was clear the Heat, who are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, were out for blood. Miami attacked early and often, outscoring the Magic 26-to-10 in the painted area in the first quarter. After the Magic tied the game at 16 with just under four minutes to go in the quarter, the host Heat went on a 17-to-6 run to close the quarter, including scoring their final seven baskets of the quarter at the rim. The suddenly reeling Magic had no answer for Miami's man in the middle, Hassan Whiteside, who scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds in the quarter. Tobias Harris led the Magic after one, finishing with eight in the opening 12 minutes.
After a lackluster, uninspiring first quarter, things got worse for the lifeless Magic. Miami continued to get whatever they wanted on both ends of the floor, attacking the basket on nearly every possession. They were able to have continued success against the Magic defense, pushing their total to 42 points in the paint. If not for Harris and Victor Oladipo -- who combined for 26 of the Magic's 39 first half points -- the Magic could've found themselves down more than 30. Whiteside continued his dominance, posting a 13-point, 10-rebound, five block half. Harris and Oladipo each scored 13 to lead the sluggish Magic at the half.
Out of halftime, everyone not named Victor Oladipo continued to show little effort for the Magic. Oladipo did almost all of he damage for the Magic, scoring 15 of the team's 27 in the quarter, while also getting back and getting after it on every defensive possession. Despite Oladipo's continued high effort, the Magic were unable to cut into Miami's 18-point halftime lead, or slow them down in the painted area, with the Heat pushing their points in the paint total to 52. Whiteside's monster game continued, with him pushing his totals to a career-high tying 24 points, and 13 rebounds to go along with his five blocks. Oladipo's 28 led all scorers, and put the second-year guard in striking distance of his career-high of 38.
Down 18 and playing uninspiring basketball, things were looking bleak for the Magic. Seemingly for the first time all night, the Magic had a sense of urgency to them, fighting, and clawing their way back to within 11 at multiple occasions. After getting a big stop, Elfrid Payton found Channing Frye for a wing three to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since late in the first quarter. Following another stop, Harris ripped down yet another rebound, charging down the court to cut Miami's lead down to six with over a minute remaining. A stop on the Heat's next possession gave the Magic a chance to get it within four, but Oladipo threw the ball away on a pass to Harris. Luol Deng knocked down a three on the other end to put the Heat back up nine with just over 30 seconds to go. With the game seemingly out of reach, Harris knocked down a three to give the Magic a glimmer of hope with 29 seconds remaining.
Five Heat players finished in double figures, led by Whiteside's 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Dwayne Wade had a quiet 22, Deng finished the night with 14. Goran Dragic added 13, with Chris Andersen finishing the night with 10.
The visiting Magic had three men score in double figures, led by Oladipo's game-high 30. Harris finished the night with 26 points and 12 rebounds. The rookie Payton was the final Magic man in double figures, finishing with 10.