Magic 89 - HEAT 90 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Orlando Magic 90-89 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Rodney McGruder led the way for the HEAT with 19 points. The game was presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida.

1. McGruder Does It All

Although McGruder didn’t start this time around, he certainly made his presence felt against Orlando.

How so?

Well, McGruder either scored or assisted on Miami’s first 15 points in the second quarter, including this sequence where he fed Bam Adebayo for an alley-oop and then knocked down a catch-and-shoot three the next time down the floor:

That wasn’t all though, as the 27-year-old locked-in defensively and made things very tough for Jonathon Simmons early on before shifting his attention to D.J. Augustin down the stretch.

Speaking of down the stretch, McGruder hit these nifty floaters in the fourth quarter to make sure the HEAT came out ahead:

Talk about a complete performance.

In addition to his team-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep, the Kansas State product also amassed eight boards, five assists and a block.

2. Dragić Turns On The Jets…As Usual

There’s nothing quite like Goran Dragić on the break, eh?

After a solid first half, Dragić took it up a notch and wreaked havoc in the third quarter with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, including these tough finishes in transition:

When it was all said and done, the Slovenian tallied 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five assists and three rebounds.

3. KO Sharp On Both Ends

Kelly Olynyk had a quick start to the contest and carried that over throughout the rest of the evening.

Not only did Olynyk do his usual damage off nice finishes inside and catch-and-shoot treys, but he also played good interior defense and held his own against Aaron Gordon on the perimeter.

One of his best defensive sequences came early in the night when he blocked Simmons and then drew a charge on Jarell Martin on the next possession.

That’s Miami HEAT basketball.

In all, Olynyk accumulated 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, two boards, two assists and a plus-five rating to go along with that block above.

Other Takeaways:

-Josh Richardson made his return to action and looked very sharp on the defensive end. While he guarded Augustin and Wes Iwundu at times, he really made life miserable for Evan Fournier and helped hold the Frenchman to just 2-of-12 shooting.

Here is one of those misses:

Yup, J. Rich is back.

Richardson ended up with five points, three rebounds, two assists and a team-high plus-12 rating.

-Early on in the first half, Hassan Whiteside set hard screens and protected the rim quite well.

For an example of the latter, just check out this block on Nikola Vučević that led to a finish for Richardson in transition:

At the end of the night, Whiteside had six points, a team-high 13 boards and a team-high three blocks.

Game Note:

-Wayne Ellington (Left Ankle Soreness), James Johnson (Sports Hernia Surgery), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bruised Right Shoulder) and Dion Waiters (Left Ankle Surgery) sat out.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will host the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night at 7:30. Tickets for that contest can be found here.