James Scores 21, Heat Roll Past Magic 120-92
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LeBron James scored 21 points and handed out seven assists, Chris Bosh scored 18 points and the Miami Heat beat the Orlando Magic 120-92 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
James Jones scored 14 of his 17 points in the third quarter, when the Heat turned what was a five-point game into a runaway.
All five Miami starters sat out the fourth quarter for the second straight night, and Dwyane Wade sat out the whole way once again to give his knees more rest.
Michael Beasley scored 14 points and Chris Andersen added 10 for the Heat, who opened the game on a 16-0 run, lost the lead briefly in the second quarter, then dominated after halftime.
Arron Afflalo scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half for Orlando, and made 7 of 9 shots from 3-point range. Victor Oladipo scored 20 points, though had eight turnovers, giving him 17 in his past two games.
Jameer Nelson scored 17 for the Magic.
Jones started in Wade’s place and went 4 for 5 from beyond the arc in the third quarter alone, including back-to-back 3s that helped blow the game open. After connecting to make it 68-57, Jones took a pass from James, watched Nelson sail past after falling victim to a head fake, then coolly hit another 3 to extend Miami’s lead to 14.
“That’s what happens when you double,” James shouted, and the Heat didn’t lose control again.
Just as was the case Tuesday against Atlanta, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra let the second unit finish the game off in the fourth. The win improved Spoelstra’s career record to 269-137, inching him past the legendary Red Auerbach for fifth on the NBA’s all-time winning percentage list for coaches.
Spoelstra’s winning percentage is now .663; Auerbach’s was .662. Only Phil Jackson, Billy Cunningham, Gregg Popovich and K.C. Jones have better percentages.
James reached double figures for the 507th straight game, one shy of matching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history.
The Heat, who struggled with starts of games at the beginning of the season, came out flying.
Miami made its first seven shots, Orlando missed its first six, and the end result was a 16-0 Heat lead a mere 4:02 after tipoff. It was the first time all season that the Heat opened with more than two unanswered points to begin a game.
And within a few minutes, the margin was all gone.
Afflalo got the Magic on the board with a pair of free throws, the first points in what became a 14-point outburst in a span of 6½ minutes for Orlando’s leading scorer. When Maurice Harkless hit a free throw with 7:55 left in the half, Orlando had its first lead at 32-31.
It became Orlando’s only lead, lasting all of 48 seconds. Miami rebuilt a 10-point edge twice over the remainder of the half, before taking a 54-49 lead into halftime.
From there, it was all Miami. There was one 12-minute stretch where Orlando outscored Miami 32-15. Take that away, and the Heat outscored the Magic 105-60.
NOTES: Miami is 7-2 in November, and is assured of a 23rd straight month of playing at least .500 or better. … Heat F Rashard Lewis appeared in his 1,000th game, and James made his 5,000th free throw. … Darrelle Revis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — a Magic season-ticket-holder — was courtside, along with former NBA star Grant Hill. … Magic F Glen Davis, who has not played this season because of a broken foot, has resumed practicing but there’s no timetable for a return to games. … Lewis and Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard were subjects of an in-game video, honoring their time with Orlando as the Magic franchise celebrates its 25th anniversary season.
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