Orlando Magic fall to in-state rival Miami Heat


Bryce Brimhall

Nikola Vucevic earned his eleventh double-double in the loss to Miami, scoring 33 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.

Nikola Vucevic earned his eleventh double-double scoring 33 points and making 17 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to win as the Orlando Magic lose to the Miami Heat 99-92 at their home court in the Amway Center.

The Magic went into the game shorthanded with top scorer Tobias Harris out with a strained calf and with 2014 fourth overall pick Aaron Gordon out with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot. However, Miami did not show up with all their cylinders pumping as Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole were both inactive for tonight’s game.

Despite the looming notion of missing two important guys, Orlando made a promising start keeping within 6 during the entire first half, going into halftime only down by three at 49-46.

2013 second overall draft pick Victor Oladipo made an explosive start to the game scoring nine points in the first half but was unable to keep his momentum going scoring only five points in the entire second half.

“I think overall he’s still trying to gain a rhythm with no training camp, no preseason, basically this is his basic camp, and preseason, we’ll continue to have trust and faith in him and he’ll continue to do good things for us on the floor, well look at it on film, and he’ll continue to get better,” said head coach Jacque Vaughn on Oladipo’s lackluster performance.

At the half, the Orlando Magic were shooting 12.5%, 1-8, from the three-point line with the only three-pointer scored by Channing Frye, while Miami was able to maintain a 46.2% making 6 of their 13 attempts. Vucevic lead both teams with 15 points and 5 rebounds going into the locker rooms.

Coming back from halftime, the game belonged to Miami Heat center Chris Bosh who scored 18 points in the second half and made 13-20 from the field and 4-6 from the three point line. Bosh would continue to be a problem for the Magic.

“His ability to play around the perimeter but in different areas, from the three to 17 feet,tough places to double team and then he is one to bounce away from the rim also. SO his ability to do all three of those things presented a problem for us tonight,” said Vaughn on Chris Bosh’s ability to control the game.

Orlando did make a promising comeback late in the third quarter and early in the fourth as they kept a 14-3 run that would bring them over Miami, but that was soon ended as the Heat toppled the Magic 99-92 by the end of the fourth quarter.

The Magic ended the night shooting a 18.8%, 3-16, from the three-point line with the only three-point baskets belonging to Evan Fournier, Channing Frye, and Oladipo at one each. While the Heat finished with 12 three-point shots of their attempted 26 shots.

Orlando was able to outscore the Heat in points from the paint, 52-26, showing the Magic has promising skills under the basket but has little prowess in the longer distance game.

The Magic has been unable to make a statement at home going only 2-4 at their home court while going 4-5 on the road.

“It’s frustrating when you lose period, but it looks like this year we’ve been playing better on the road then at home, we had some good teams come in the building and we weren’t able to defend our home court, we’ve started out the season pretty well, now were gonna have a tough road stretch we got to prepare for but we have to do a better job at defending our home court,” said Vucevic about the team’s dismal record at home

The Orlando Magic will now head to Cleveland to face Lebron James and the Cavaliers this Monday, Nov. 24, then will return home for one game against the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 26, then proceed to go on a six-game road trip.