ORLANDO, Fla, April 17 (Ticker) --
The Orlando Magic chose health
over the home court.
sat out with a sore back and the Miami Heat took
advantage as Eddie Jones
scored 22 points for a 103-89 victory
over the Magic, who will have to begin the playoffs on the road.
Orlando finished fifth in the East and was certainly missing
McGrady's 25.6 points and 7.8 rebounds. The Magic trailed,
61-46, at halftime and never seriously threatened in the second
The Magic will travel to Charlotte for its first-round series.
Orlando lost three of four to the Hornets this season.
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Malik Allen played a ton of rare minutes, and made them count with a solid double-double.
"It looks like we're playing Charlotte and that's fine," Orlando
coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought Charlotte would be the
toughest team. but just because they're the toughest team
doesn't mean we won't beat 'em."
The Heat closed the first half with a 21-6 run for their
15-point halftime cushion. Jones had 11 points for Miami and
Orlando missed 7-of-8 shots during the stretch.
Miami shot 62 percent (26-of-42) in the first half and topped
the 50-point mark at halftime for the second straight night. It
was surprising considering the Heat were the last team to notch
a 100-point game this season. This was their 11th game of
15-foot jumper capped an 11-3 run to open the
fourth quarter that provided an 88-70 advantage for Miami.
Carter finished with 10 points and 10 assists.
"We just went out there and played," Carter said. "I just tried
to be aggressive. I made some pretty good passes and I was
aggressive shooting the ball."
Orlando also was without reigning Rookie of the Year Mike
, who is on the injured list with a left ankle sprain.
was placed on the injured list with a strep throat
earlier in the day and reserve center Don Reid
was serving a
one-game suspension for fighting in Tuesday's victory at
"I've never seen a bad back go away and that's something we're
going to have to deal with," Rivers said. "He's (McGrady) only
22 years old and that scares the heck out of me.
"My gut would be (Miller) will play, probably because it's the
playoffs. Now I can't tell you how healthy he's going to be."
tried to pick up the slack with 22 points but made
only 8-of-22 shots. Monty Williams
followed up a 23-point effort
last night with 21 points.
"We just have to worry about ourselves," Hudson said. "We have
to go down there and play to win. We can't worry about
home-court advantage because we don't have it."
scored 16 points and Carter and Malik Allen
added double-doubles. Allen had 14 points and a season-high 11
rebounds. Miami held a 44-34 rebounding edge.
Despite the victory, Miami closes a disappointing campaign in
which it will miss the postseason for the first time under coach
Pat Riley. It also is the first time in Riley's 20 years as a
coach that he has missed the playoffs.
"It's over with now," Riley said. "There's no solace in this
win. "It's a nice win, but it's over with."