Riding high from their three-game winning streak, the Orlando Magic returned to Amway with a chance to do something they hadn’t done since 2012. However, thanks to a couple of critical late fouls, and Henry Walker knocking down big shots, the Magic let another game slip away, losing in overtime to the Miami Heat 93-90.
Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively in the first quarter. With neither team shooting the ball well, it quickly turned into your typical Memphis Grizzlies style grind house for the two instate rivals. Although the Magic did a good job of limiting surging big man, Hassan Whiteside, from doing damage in the paint, they struggled with turnovers, coughing up the ball five times. Both teams were tied at 17 heading into the second
In the second, the Magic got a boost from their bench. Evan Fournier got the Magic off on the right foot by knocking down a three. Willie Green got in on the action by hitting a three of his own. At one point, the Magic pushed their lead to as many as 10 midway through the second. However, Miami stayed resilient. After Mario Chalmers and Luol Deng cut the deficit to one, the Magic would take a three-point lead. Unfortunately, the team would suffer a big blow as Aaron Gordon would sprain his ankle and be lost for the night. The Magic led 40-36 after the first half.
In the third, the Magic got out to a double digit lead, but the Heat kept their cool, cutting the deficit down to as many as five and eventually tied the game up at 61 heading into the fourth. There, the Magic upped the defense and seemed primed to take a big victory against the Heat until they were gut punched by Henry Walker who, after going 0-7 from deep all night, hit the two biggest shots of the contest to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the Heat taught the Magic a valuable lesson. What separates the champions from the rest is their ability to stay level headed, and close games. With just 27 seconds left, the Magic had a chance to take the lead, but Nikola Vucevic turned the ball over and forced to foul Dwyane Wade. With one more chance to tie the game, Victor Oladipo took and missed a three-point attempt, and Miami would escape with a win.
Luol Deng led Miami with 21 points. Dwyane Wade had 18, while Hassan Whiteside putting up a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Henry Walker finished with 10
For the Magic, Vucevic led with a game-high 24 points. Victor Oladipo had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Willie Green and Tobias Harris both had 12 points, while Evan Fournier finished with 10 points.