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Game Preview: Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic

2013 March 25
by Andrew Melnick

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The Orlando Magic were once again competitive with one of the NBA’s elite, but fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 97-89. The Miami Heat have now won 26 games in a row after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats Sunday night.

The Magic enter with a record of 18-52 while the Heat are 55-14.

This will be the third of four meetings between the two teams. In their first battle, the Heat survived, coming away with a 112-110 overtime victory. LeBron James dominated the extra period, scoring eight of the Heat’s 13 overtime points. James finished with 36 points and 11 assists on the night. Nikola Vucevic had a huge game for the Magic, finishing with 20 points, 29 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists. Arron Afflalo was Orlando’s leading scorer, tallying 28 points. The last time these two teams met, there were several controversial calls down the stretch and the Heat eventually came away with a 97-96 victory on a James game-winner. James finished with 26 points while Vucevic again dominated the Heat, finishing with 25 points and 21 rebounds.

They’ll meet again on the final day of the regular season.

The Magic rank 26th in offensive rating (99.3), 26th in defensive rating (106.7) and play at the league’s 15th-fastest pace (94.31). The Heat are first in offensive rating (110.5), ninth in defensive rating (101.7) and play at the league’s 22nd-fastest pace (93.11).

Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida and nationally on ESPN. If you live in the Orlando area, the ESPN broadcast will be blacked out.

As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

The officials for tonight’s game are Rodney Mott, Tony Brown and Scott Twardoski.

The Line: Miami – 13.0 (198.5)

Starters:

Miami Heat

Chris Bosh
Udonis Haslem
LeBron James
Mike Miller*
Mario Chalmers

Orlando Magic

Kyle O’Quinn#
Tobias Harris
Maurice Harkless
E’Twaun Moore
Jameer Nelson

*Heat guard Dwyane Wade missed Sunday’s win over the Bobcats to rest his sore right knee. Former Magic wing Mike Miller started in his place. He’ll be out again Monday.

Arron Afflalo is out for the rest of the season with a strained hamstring. E’Twaun Moore will likely start in his place.

#Nikola Vucevic is listed as “questionable” because of the concussion he suffered against the Indiana Pacers March 19. Vucevic hasn’t played in the last two games and likely won’t play Monday. Rookie Kyle O’Quinn started in his place Friday, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

Heat Resources:

All U Can Heat
Heat Index
Hot Hot Hoops
Miami Herald
Peninsula is Mightier
The Sun-Sentinel

Andrew Melnick is the Senior blogger for Magic Basketball Online. You can follow him on twitter here.