Heat defeat Magic to move above .500 for first time

FILE PHOTO Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts afte his team defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 103 – 93 during an NBA game at Smoothie King Center on March 04, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Jimmy Butler had 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, leading the host Miami Heat past the Orlando Magic, 111-103, on Thursday night.

Kelly Olynyk had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Heat, who have won eight of their past nine games. Miami also got 17 points from Tyler Herro, including eight in the fourth quarter. Kendrick Nunn added 13 points, and Goran Dragic had 11 as the Heat pushed over .500 for the first time this season (19-18).


Orlando, which has lost six straight games, was led by 2021 All-Star Nikola Vucevic’s 24 points and 17 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon added 21 points, and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and seven assists for the Magic.

Aaron Gordon, Orlando’s fourth-leading scorer, returned and scored nine points. He had missed 15 straight games due to injured left ankle.

Orlando is still without second-leading scorer Evan Fournier, who missed his second straight game due to a groin injury. He joined several Magic players on the injured list, including Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Cole Anthony.

Miami was without 2020 All-Star center Bam Adebayo, who missed his second straight game due to tendinitis in his left knee. He leads the team in rebounds and blocks and is second in scoring.

There were 10 lead changes and four tie scores in a first period that ended with Orlando leading 32-30. The Magic finished the quarter on a 9-0 run.

The second quarter was more of the same as there were nine lead changes and three tie scores. This time, however, the Heat went into halftime on top 63-58. Vucevic led all first-half scorers with 18 points.

Orlando surged back on top 74-71 on Bacon’s 3-pointer with 6:05 left in the third quarter. the end of the period, though, the score was tied 82-82.

Miami led 95-94 with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter when the Heat finally pulled away with an 8-0 run.

–Field Level Media

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