Relatively young NBA franchises, the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat have met more than 125 times.
On this day five years ago however, the two teams played their longest, highest-scoring and perhaps most thrilling matchup. In the end, the Magic outlasted Miami in double-overtime, 136-130.
Neither team was in the midst of a great season as they met at AmericanAirlines Arena on Dec. 20, 2016. The Magic were just 12-17 while the Heat were 9-19. For 58 minutes however, they gave the fans a show.
The Heat led by four after three periods and pushed that lead to nine in the fourth, but Orlando responded with 12 straight points to take its first lead since the second quarter. Nikolva Vucevic scored the first seven points of the run.
Miami however, had an answer. The Heat responded with a 9-3 run, thanks to three-pointers from Tyler Johnson and Goran Dragic and three-point play from Justise Winslow. Trailing 108-103 with less than 40 seconds left, the Magic wouldn’t go away.
Back-to-back baskets from Evan Fournier and Jeff Green cut the lead to one. After Miami’s Josh Richardson split a pair of free throws, Serge Ibaka was able to put back a Fournier miss with an improbable bank shot to tie the game at 109. Dragic’s three-point attempt at the buzzer missed and the contest went to overtime.
In the extra period, a 7-0 run by Miami again put the Magic behind by two possessions with less than a minute to play, but a free throw from Vucevic and two from Elfrid Payton cut the deficit to one. After Dragic split a pair of foul shots, Jeff Green knocked down two to tie the contest with 14 seconds left.
Winslow and Fournier would each have shots to win it for their respective teams, but both shots went awry and the teams went to a second overtime where Orlando would ultimately prevail.
With the contest tied at 123, Fournier knocked down a triple to jumpstart an 8-0 run for the Magic. After Ibaka’s jumper pushed the lead to five, Payton and Vucevic combined to make three free throws. Orlando made five of its final six free throws to put the contest away.
For the night, Orlando had four players score at least 20 points and six score in double figures. Vucevic and Fournier led the way with 26 points apiece. Payton and Ibaka added 22 and 20 points, respectively. Jeff Green finished with 14 points and Aaron Gordon recorded 12. Vucevic led Orlando with 12 rebounds.
Hassan Whiteside paced Miami with game-highs of 32 points and 15 rebounds. Dragic added 19 points in the loss.
Following last Friday’s contest, the Magic and Heat have now met 128 times. The highest scoring meeting and only one ever to go multiple overtimes took place on this day five years ago.