The return of Evan Fournier and Jonathan Isaac weren't enough to bring the Magic's losing streak to an end.
Orlando entered the fourth tied with Miami before the Heat blew it open en route to a 107-89 win that handed the Magic their ninth straight loss. For the Magic, who have now dropped 20 of their last 23 games, it is the second time this season they have lost nine consecutive games.
There was some good news out of the locker room to start the evening as Fournier, who missed eight games with a sprained ankle, and Isaac, who also had a sprained ankle that cost him 19 of the previous 21 games, were back in the lineup.
Without Nikola Vucevic, Bismack Biyombo got the start and was aggressive early on, but missed all four of his shot attempts in the opening four minutes. The Heat jumped out to a 21-12 lead before the Magic cut the deficit to three after the first despite shooting 26.1 percent in the quarter.
The Magic ultimately went on an 18-2 run, powered by D.J. Augustin and the second unit, to build a seven-point during a 31-point second quarter. Orlando entered the break with a 49-43 advantage.
December 27, 2017
The Magic were sloppy with the ball in the third quarter, committing 10 turnovers that allowed the Heat to erase what was a 10-point deficit. Arron Afflalo, who had a season-high nine points, hit a three and a jumper in the post to help send the Magic to the fourth tied at 68.
That was where the Heat blew the game open, thanks in part to Wayne Ellington, who hit four of his six threes in the quarter, and Josh Richardson, who scored 14 of his 20 points in Miami's 39-point fourth quarter.
#KaBOOM!@WayneElli22 knocked down 5 of his 6 3's in the 2nd half of tonight's #HEATwin over the Magic! @NBA #WeWantWayne pic.twitter.com/SOzG964Gyt— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 27, 2017
The Magic had no response, went cold on the offensive end, and looked lethargic from there on out.
Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 19 points, six assists and eight rebounds. Fournier scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and finished 5 of 10 from the field in 30 minutes. Hezonja added 14 points and Mo Speights had 12. Biyombo had three points on 1 of 7 shooting but tallied 12 rebounds and five blocks. Isaac was held without a field goal, missing all four of his attempts, and recorded just one point and one rebound in 16 minutes.
The Magic, who had 17 turnovers, shot just 40.7 percent from the field, including 5 of 20 from three.
Kelly Olynyk had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat. Hassan Whiteside, who returned after missing 14 games with a knee bruise, had seven points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes.
It was less than a month ago, from November 11 to November 27, that the Magic suffered their first nine-game losing streak. They managed to prevent the streak from reaching double-digits with a surprising win over the Thunder. To do so this time, they'll need to defeat the Pistons on Thursday