Game Notes: Heat at Magic
Bass pulls some early magic to make the Heat disappear.
by Nick Wilke
Erick Dampier is suited up for the Heat after just being signed to a contract on Tuesday. The Miami Heat released Jerry Stackhouse on Tuesday after acquiring Dampier. Stackhouse appeared in seven games for the Heat, but has only averaged 7.1 minutes per game.
Vince Carter is inactive for the game after twisting his left knee on Monday against the Spurs.
During warm-ups, Dwight Howard works on his mid-range jumper and three point shot. Howard and Dwyane Wade embrace at half court and exchange words at the captain’s meeting.
LeBron was heavily and loudly booed by almost the whole arena when he was introduced.
JJ Redick addresses the crowd and wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Heat start with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Carlos Arroyo.
Magic start with Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Dwight Howard, Quentin Richardson and Rashard Lewis.
Dwight ignites the crowd with ferocious dunks on two consecutive plays.
Big Z committed his second foul early in the quarter, so the Heat brought in the much shorter Joel Anthony.
During a timeout, James Jones and Erick Dampier were shown on the jumbo-tron on kiss cam. I’m sure Shaq would have found it very funny.
LeBron, who was showered with “Boos” every time he touched the ball, started off 0-4 from the field, missing badly on every shot. It was the loudest booing of one player I have ever heard.
With less than two minutes remaining in the quarter, the Magic used great ball movement to get an easy dunk for Brandon Bass.
LeBron drove to the hoop for an easy lay-up to get his first points of the game with one minute remaining in the quarter. It looks like he is still trying to find his rhythm.
After seven minutes of play, Bosh left the court to go into the locker room due to back spasms.
Brandon Bass provided the Magic with good minutes off the bench, scoring six points in three minutes on 3-4 shooting.
Magic lead 26-18 after the first quarter.
Bass started off the quarter with a mid-range jumper. It looks like Bass is more reluctant to take mid-range jumpers this season.
Bosh returned to the game with eight minutes to go in the first half. Just after his return, he was slow to rotate on defense, allowing Brandon Bass to get an easy dunk off a pick-and-roll with Chris Duhon.
Rashard Lewis hit a three after a steal in the backcourt by Bass. The three put the Magic up 35-27.
The Magic worked the pick-and-pop with Bass, who was consistently knocking down the mid-range jumper. With three minutes to go in the half, Bass had made seven of his ten shots.
The bulk of Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass appears to be too much for the Heat to handle. They are just man-handling Bosh and Anthony down low.
DWade’s struggles from the field continued. He ended the first half just 2-8, which makes him 7-34 over the past 10 quarters.
LeBron fouled Quentin Richardson on a desperation three-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer. Q knocked down all three free-throws to put the Magic up 51-43 going into the half.
Dwight Howard knocked down a mid-range jumper off glass to give the Magic their first points of the half. We could possibly see Dwight develop a mid-range game over the course of the season. He really shows that he has a soft touch from mid-range.
DWade hit a three from the top of the key to end his drought, but he is still settling for tough shots instead of attacking the basket. JJ Redick has to be thankful for that.
As the Magic began a fast-break, referee Joe Crawford took a tumble, but still managed to call the foul as Redick was fouled shooting a three-pointer. Redick knocked down another three on the next possession to put the Magic up 65-57 midway through the third quarter.
The Heat still are looking like they are having a hard time finding ways to score. Every bucket they get, looks like they had to work really hard for.
DWade air-balled a three with a minute left in the half.
Jason Williams was called for a travel on the next play, and then tried to pass the ball to the ref, but it hit Jamaal Magloire in the head. Joe Crawford perceived it to be intentional, so he ejected Williams from the game on the spot.
Magic go into the fourth with a 74-71 lead.
Rashard Lewis made a mid-range jumper after the Magic got two offensive rebounds. This put the Magic up 81-73, and forced the Heat to take a time-out. Coach Spoelstra can’t be happy after giving the Magic three shots on one possession.
The Heat are over-pursuing on defense, and falling for every pump-fake from the Magic guards.
A turnover by Dwight Howard led to a corner three by Eddie House to pull the Heat within one 84-83.
Jameer Nelson answered right back with a three of his own on the next play.
The Heat took a one-point lead with six minutes remaining after DWade made a floater in transition as he was fouled, then hit the free-throw.
Jameer Nelson scored on two consecutive possessions by using the high screens set by Dwight Howard. The Magic led 93-89 with four minutes remaining.
The Heat tried to answer on the other end, but couldn’t get a good shot, so Spoelstra had to call a time-out to organize his team. They still weren’t able to get a good shot after the time-out.
Eddie House missed two open triples, and then, out of frustration, sent Nelson to the line on the other end. Nelson was able to penetrate at will against House, and also make free-throws to keep the Magic ahead.
During the final minute of the game, Magic fans started chanting “OVERRATED.”
Final Score: Magic 104, Heat 95.
Summary of the game: Brandon Bass was too much for the Heat to handle in the first half, and Jameer Nelson took over the game in the fourth quarter. Bass ended the first half with 16 points on 8-11 shooting in 15 minutes of play. Nelson finished with 17 points and a career-high 14 assists.
When asked about Jameer Nelson, Van Gundy said, “He made all the plays down the stretch.”
When asked about Brandon Bass, Van Gundy said, “Brandon carried us in the first half. He was tremendous. It was good to see him bounce back from a tough game.”
When asked about the Heat, Van Gundy said, “They have an unbelievable amount of talent, but we fought hard.”
When asked about the key to victory Van Gundy said, “I thought our ball-movement and intensity was the best it’s been this year.”