Heat Solidify Florida’s Best Team Status On Record Setting Night

The Miami Heat played their last game of a 5 game home stretch against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night and got a 116-113 win. This may not be a well known rivalry, but it is for the players.

At least, for Meyers Leonard, who watched from the bench as he recovers from injury.

The Heat started this game spreading the ball around, which usually starts with the leader of the offense, Jimmy Butler. He is the one who controls the tempo on a nightly basis. You can always tell the way he is going to play at the start of the game. On this particular night, he was more passive and interested in getting guys like Bam, Nunn, or Duncan going to begin the game. After having eight guys in the points column at the end of the first, the Heat had a 30-26 lead.

The second quarter was led by one guy in particular, Duncan Robinson. Duncan went 5 for 5 from three in the second quarter alone and was 7 for 8 from three at the half. Not only is it important for Duncan to get hot, but it’s also important for his teammates. Once guys start flying out at him whenever he runs off picks, it leads to either an open big man rolling off of the screen or an open man in the corner for three. Orlando’s Terrence Ross helped keep it interesting after scoring 17 second quarter points. Duncan lifted the Heat to a 60-55 lead at the half.

The third quarter was a continued back and forth game. The Heat’s bench unit was a big reason Miami was leading just as they are a lot of nights. Guys like Kelly Olynyk and Goran Dragic add a great amount of shooting and scoring off of the bench. Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala provide a defensive toughness off of the bench, on a night that looked like one of Iguodala’s best games in a Heat uniform. The quickness of his hands on defense and using them in a way that he doesn’t foul goes unnoticed. This helped the Heat to an 88-84 lead over Orlando at the end of the third, needing one last fourth quarter push.

The fourth quarter still contained a couple more lead changes between these two teams. Miami’s bench unit continued their dominance behind Dragic’s 9 point fourth quarter. Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala also added a combined 8 points in the fourth. The bench unit all had a positive plus/minus while it was another story for the starters. This isn’t a bad thing always since it’s good for guys like Jimmy and Bam to get a bit of a break, especially after playing the best team in the NBA two nights prior. Orlando made a last minute push but it wasn’t enough as Miami got the win, 116-113.

Miami set a franchise record 22 threes behind 9 threes from Duncan Robinson alone. Dragic also added 5 threes, and ended the game with 25 points and 9 assists. Not only is it amazing to hit this many threes in a game, but to do it on 50% shooting from beyond the arc makes it that much better. This win helps Miami to a 4 game winning streak, while heading back on the road for a game Friday night against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. It’ll be interesting to see how Bam matches up with a guy like Zion. Miami looks to continue this hot streak so they can uphold the 4 seed for home court advantage come playoff time.

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