NBA: Magic edge Heat for sixth straight win

Reuters

Posted at Mar 27 2019 11:13 AM

Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) shoots the ball over Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

In a game with major playoff implications, Nikola Vucevic scored 18 of his team-high 24 points in the second half as the visiting Orlando Magic defeated the Miami Heat 104-99 on Tuesday night.

Vucevic also added a game-high 16 rebounds and five assists, leading Orlando to its sixth straight win, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Both teams are battling for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. With the win, the Magic vaulted over the Heat by a half-game in the standings.

Miami, 10-5 in its past 15 games, was led by Dion Waiters, who scored a game-high 26 points. Reserve guard Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, including 18 in the second half.

Orlando, trying to end its six-year playoff drought, also got 19 points from Jonathan Isaac and 14 points and 10 rebounds from Aaron Gordon.

At halftime, Chris Bosh became the fourth former Heat player to have his jersey number retired, joining Tim Hardaway, Shaq O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning.

Bosh, who was forced to retire due to blood clots, was part of Miami's big three -- with LeBron James and Wade -- during the franchise's run toward four straight Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships from 2011 to 2014.

On Tuesday, Miami closed the first quarter on a 12-0 run, taking a 32-18 lead. 

Miami's Josh Richardson scored 11 points in the period while the Heat defense held Orlando to 26.9-percent shooting, including 2 of 12 on three-pointers. Miami shot 54 percent in the quarter.

Orlando cut its deficit to 51-42 at halftime. Miami built its lead on the interior, accumulating a 28-16 edge in first-half paint points.

Orlando, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, rallied to take its first lead of the game, going up 63-62 on Isaac's 3-pointer with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

The Magic entered the fourth with a 76-70 lead, but Wade helped the Heat rally by scoring Miami's first 10 points of the quarter. However, when the Heat couldn't pull off the victory, they fell to 0-16 at home this season when trailing after three quarters.

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