Magic Come Up Short in Thriller in Miami

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Cole Anthony posted 19 points and seven rebounds, Franz Wagner had 19 points and six boards, and Paolo Banchero recorded 19 points and five boards, however the Orlando Magic, despite leading much of the way, fell 110-105 to the host Miami Heat on Friday night. 

Clutch Moments

Jimmy Butler, who finished with 29 points, had the game’s two biggest buckets, First, after a Wendell Carter Jr. 3-pointer pulled Orlando within one with 1:46 left, Butler converted on an AND-1 layup. A few possessions later after a Gary Harris triple narrowed the Magic’s deficit to three, the 33-year-old Heat forward connected on a floater with 34.8 seconds remaining.  

Key Stretch

The Magic went from up eight early in the fourth quarter after a Moe Wagner dunk to down three just a few minutes later. Max Strus started the 13-2 run with a 3-pointer and Gabe Vincent hit back-to-back threes shortly after. Former Magic player Victor Oladipo capped it with a step-back mid-range jumper. 

Key Stat

The Heat are one of the best at forcing their opponents into turnovers. That was critical in Friday’s contest, as the Magic coughed it up 20 times for 32 Miami points. 

Injury/Inactive Report

Chuma Okeke (left knee injury recovery) and Jonathan Isaac (injury management) were out for the Magic. R.J. Hampton, Caleb Houstan, and Kevon Harris were on G League assignments. Duncan Robinson (finger), Nikola Jovic (back), and Omer Yurtseven (ankle) were unavailable for the Heat.

Quote of the Day

“It’s amazing, especially defensively. He makes my job a lot easier, even with him not being in tip-top shape. He’s a guy who gives a lot of effort on both ends of the court, plays the game the right way. He’s another one of those guys that we are adding into the fold that just makes the game so much easier for me. It’s been a lot of fun. This is one of my first times being able to play with him. Just all the emotions, the excitement of him coming back. It’s just been a lot of fun.” – Carter on having Isaac back

This Day in History

Jan. 27 has not been kind to the Magic. After Friday’s loss in Miami, they are now 2-14 all-time on this day. Their two victories came in consecutive years – 2008 and 2009. The first of them was against the Boston Celtics, who would ultimately win the NBA championship that season. Hedo Turkoglu scored 27 points and made a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Paul Pierce led Boston with 24 points.

Rivals Report

The Heat are quite unusual in that they are exceptionally good on one end of the floor and poor on the other. They currently rank fourth in defense and 27th on offense. Their defense will always keep them in the mix, but for them to have a real chance at getting back to the Finals, they’re going to have to find a way to augment their offense. Expect them to be aggressive at the trade deadline.   

Up Next

The Magic have a quick turnaround ahead, as they now get set to host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday at 7 p.m. This is the second of three meetings between them. The Magic overcame a four-point deficit with under 30 seconds remaining in their stunning victory in Chicago on Nov. 18. Jalen Suggs buried a go-ahead step-back 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left after former Magic player Nikola Vucevic missed a pair of free throws.