Few teams, particularly a team like the Magic, would stand a chance in a game when their opponent sets a franchise record for three-pointers in a game.
But the Magic, to their credit, and thanks in large part to Terrence Ross, shot well themselves to stay in the game until the very end. It was simply one too many threes from the Heat, who made a franchise-best 22 of them en route to a 116-113 win.
The game started not with a three, but on a dunk attempt by exactly who you might expect.
On the first possession of the game, the Heat attempted a lob that could not be converted by Dunk Contest “champion” Derrick Jones Jr. while he was being defended by none other than Aaron Gordon (LOL).
Derrick Jones was unable to finish the lob. Dwyane Wade gave him a 10.— Orlando Magic Daily (@OMagicDaily) March 5, 2020
The Magic were aggressive early on in getting to the basket and they shot 50 percent in the opening quarter. The Heat unsuccessfully attempted to contain Nikola Vucevic with smaller defenders and he responded with eight points and five rebounds in the quarter. The Heat though had the advantage from the outside, hitting five threes in the quarter to take a 30-26 lead after one.
After hitting four straight threes in one stretch of the second, the Heat lead grew to 15 at 50-35 with 5:37 left in the half.
Ross nearly single-handedly helped get the Magic back into it, scoring 17 points in the second, including Orlando’s final 10 points of the quarter to trim the deficit to 60-55 at the break.
He finished the half with 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting, making all four of his three-point attempts and accounting for all of the Orlando bench points (Bamba, Augustin and MCW combined to go 0-for-9 in the first half). The Magic shot 50 percent as Gordon scored nine and Vucevic, Fournier and Fultz each added eight points. Fournier was the only Magic starter to hit a three in the half (2-for-3), while the other four combined to go 0 of 5, and the Magic overall shot 35.3 percent from deep (6-for-17).
Duncan Robinson alone made more threes than the Magic in the first half. He hit seven of eight three-point attempts for 21 points. The Heat combined went 13-for-23 from deep (56.5 percent), making many contested attempts.
The Magic regained the lead on a Fournier three with 5:22 left in the third. Then of all people it was Michael Carter-Williams, who was scoreless in the first half, who came alive, scoring in a variety of ways to tally nine straight Orlando points.
That stretch was capped by his layup that put Orlando in front 83-80 with 2:18 to go. The Heat got to the line to regain the lead and take an 88-84 advantage into the fourth.
The Magic again regained the lead when Vucevic, surrounded in the post, kicked it out to an open Ross for the three and a 93-91 lead. After Kelly Olynyk responded with a three of his own, Ross again hit from deep, this time plus the foul for a four-point play and 97-94 lead.
Olynyk continued to make anything he put up, scoring seven quick fourth quarter points, including an awkward off-balance 15-footer to cap a 6-0 Heat run for a 100-97 Miami lead. Ross’ third three of the fourth later put the Magic back in front at 104-103 with 5:24 to go. It turned into a back-and-forth affair before a Magic turnover resulted in Robinson’s ninth three of the game for a 110-106 Heat advantage.
Goran Dragic followed with another three of his own - the Heat’s 21st of the game, matching a franchise record - to cap an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 113-106. The franchise record came shortly after when Jae Crowder hit Miami’s 22nd of the night for s 116-108 lead.
Another three by Ross and, out of a timeout, a baby hook by Vucevic brought the Magic within one possession at 116-113 with 32.3 left. After a stop, with just over six seconds remaining, Gordon got a good look at a potential game-tying shot from the corner off the inbounds but couldn’t connect as the game fittingly ended on a three-point shot.
The Heat went 22-for-44 from three in what was a historic shooting night in Miami. Robinson made 9 of 12 attempts, accounting for all of his field goals in a 27-point performance. Dragic went 5 of 9 from three and had 25 points. Olynyk hit all three of his attempts from deep, and all five of his field goals, for 16 points. Kendrick Nunn hit three triples for nine points. Jimmy Butler had 12 points and eight assists.
The Magic had an impressive shooting performance themselves that on most nights would result in victory, shooting 53 percent from the field, including 13 for 30 from three (44.8 percent). Ross finished with 35 points, going 8 of 10 from deep.
Terrence Ross tonight:— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 5, 2020
When you know your role
Vucevic had 22 points, 16 rebounds, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Gordon added 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
The Magic, despite a valiant effort against one of the league’s best home teams, lost their third straight. The road trip continues on Friday in Minnesota.