Denton: Magic Stun Heat With Epic Comeback

By John Denton
March 3, 2011


MIAMI – Then Orlando Magic pulled off the second-greatest in franchise history on Thursday night, rallying back from a 24-point second-half deficit to stick it to the rival Miami Heat.

Once down 73-49 in the third quarter, the Magic stormed back with a comeback for the ages for a 99-96 defeat of the Heat at American Airlines Arena. Orlando’s rally from 25 points down on Nov. 8, 1989 in Cleveland is the all-time franchise record for a comeback.

Chris Bosh and LeBron James missed potential tying 3-pointers in the final seconds, allowing the Magic to escape with a victory that won’t soon be forgotten.

The Magic used a dazzling 40-9 spurt over the third and fourth quarters to go from 24 points down to shockingly up 89-82 with 6:35 to play in the game.

Orlando (40-22) won for a fourth consecutive time. The victory also allowed the Magic to split the season series with the Heat, 2-2.

The Magic got 24 points and six 3-pointers from shooting guard Jason Richardson. Point guard Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Superstar center Dwight Howard had 14 points and 18 rebounds.

LeBron James (29 points) and Dwyane Wade (28 points) torched the Magic in the first half, but combined to score just 10 points in the second half.