After being down 18 points to go into the half, the Miami Heat (25-10) failed to come back after a strong third quarter, losing to the Orlando Magic (16-19) 105-85.
The Heat did a great job creating shots and heading to the free-throw line in the third quarter, going on a 20-6 run and cutting the Magic lead to only 4 points entering the fourth quarter.
However, Terrence Ross did a great job equalizing everything the Heat answered with, scoring 25 points and going 6-10 on three-pointers.
Miami was invisible in the fourth quarter, scoring only 6 points compared to Orlando’s 21. The Heat couldn’t find a leader to give the ball to and score in the final 12 minutes of the game, costing them a loss.
Jimmy Butler led Miami’s scorers with 23 points, 7 assists, and 10 Rebounds. Bam Adebayo also did his thing with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
With tonight’s loss, it is now their second of three games, the previous loss being to the Washington Wizards. Both the Magic and Wizards record combine for a tragic 26-41.
Miami is now 11-3 against teams with a losing record, those losses being to the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, and Memphis Grizzlies.
Takeaways From Tonight’s Game:
1) Jimmy Butler needs to step up for the Heat late in the fourth quarter:
Although tonight’s stats show a solid performance from Jimmy Butler, his performance tonight was not what Miami needed.
Butler was sloppy with the ball, trying to make lazy behind the back passes and not wanting to take shots in the fourth quarter, only taking 1 when the game wasn’t even competitive at that point.
Miami needed that offensive showing from someone as the rest of the squad struggled shooting, Butler wasn’t that guy tonight. It wasn’t only his fault but the man with the max-contract has to at least attempt to take over the game when a boost is needed.
2) It is time to give Kelly Olynyk’s minutes to James Johnson:
Kelly Olynyk once again had a nowhere to be found game, playing 12 minutes and finishing with 5 points and 3 rebounds on 2-8 shooting.
Coach Erik Spoelstra finally gave Olynyk time to get hot from deep and overall bring a great presence to the Heat, he failed to do so.
I understand shooters have slumps but Olynyk has been on a slump the entire season with his field goal percentage being .455% compared to .463% from last season.
James Johnson deserves an opportunity to play and prove why he should take Olynyk’s minutes. Johnson brings a great defensive presence, along with an athletic showing, and can always give you a three-point shot when he is open.
The Miami Heat will be back in action at home on Sunday as they face Hassan Whiteside and the Portland Trailblazers.
The Orlando Magic will play at home tomorrow against the Utah Jazz.