Denton: Magic vs. Heat Analysis (1/4/14)


By John Denton
Jan. 4, 2014

ORLANDO – Several hours before Saturday’s tipoff, Rashard Lewis leaned back in an Amway Center chair and talked of his days in Orlando, times that he still considers the best of his NBA career.

He spoke of his teamwork with Hedo Turkoglu, his inside-outside partnership with Dwight Howard and his undying friendship with Magic lifer Jameer Nelson. He talked of 3-point records set, runs to the 2009 NBA Finals and giddy, feel-good times in Magic pinstripes.

It was similar to a conversation that Lewis had on Friday night when he hopped in a cab in Orlando and talked with a taxi driver who was a die-hard Magic fan. The cabbie told Lewis just how much he loved living and dying with those Magic teams from 2008-10, something that brought a big smile to Lewis’ face.

All the talk of Lewis’ heyday in Orlando must have inspired him considering that he poured in a season-high 18 points and keyed a big second-half run for Miami in a 110-94 defeat of the Magic at the Amway Center.

``It was almost like perfect timing (to start in Orlando). You don’t wish anything bad on your teammates to get hurt, but coach called my name to start tonight and I came out and played well,’’ said Lewis, who started in place of the injured Shane Battier. ``I’m very happy about it, especially in front of these (Magic) fans. It means a lot to me. These fans showed a lot of support and it was a lot of fun for me.’’


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