95 - 104 Final
  for this game

Nelson and Howard lead Magic past struggling Heat

Nov 25, 2010 - 8:13 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson scored six points during a game- altering run late in the fourth quarter for Orlando, which earned a 104-95 victory over the struggling Miami Heat at Amway Arena in a Southeast Division battle.

Nelson scored 17 points in all and added a career-best 14 assists for the Magic, whose 8-0 run broke an 89-89 tie with several minutes remaining in the fourth. Dwight Howard dominated inside with 24 points and 18 rebounds for Orlando, which won for the fifth time in six games overall.

Vince Carter missed the game for Orlando with a sprained left knee, and J.J. Redick filled in admirably with 20 points.

LeBron James registered 25 points for the Heat, who have lost a season-high three straight to fall to 8-7 on the year. Miami, which some saw as a contender to challenge Chicago's 1995-96 record of 72 wins, is now in danger of falling back to a disappointing .500 with their new star trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"One thing I know we did tonight was competed," James said. "We showed a sense of urgency, and we had fun and played at a high level tonight. You can be satisfied with that -- there's no talk after the game where we say we just didn't have the energy. They just made more plays down the stretch."

To make matters worse, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, who coached that aforementioned Bulls team, was quoted in a Los Angeles newspaper as saying a coaching change could be in the cards if the Heat don't improve soon.

Bosh scored 21 points, while Wade had 18 on 6-of-21 shooting. Nobody else on Miami broke double-figures.

The Heat trailed for a majority of the game before Wade put Miami ahead in the fourth quarter, 88-87, following a three-point play with 6:48 to go. Orlando had led since a Howard layup with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first.

"They're really good. You knew they were going to make a run eventually," Redick said. "We had a few turnovers, and that allowed them to get back in the game. We talked about that we had worked so hard, we deserve to win that game."

With the game tied, 89-89, a short while later, Nelson scored on consecutive possessions, first with a midrange jumper and then with a driving layup to give Orlando a small lead. Following an Eddie House missed three-pointer for Miami, Redick's 16-footer provided a six-point cushion for Orlando with just over three minutes to play.

Nelson made it an 8-0 run with another jumper with under two minutes left before a James layup cut the Miami gap to six. After Nelson missed a pair of free throws, James attempted a baseline move, but stepped out of bounds for a turnover.

The outcome was not in doubt in the final moments.

A 10-0 run in the first quarter gave the Magic an early 24-16 lead. Brandon Bass accounted for the final six points of the burst, and Orlando held a 26-18 advantage after 12 minutes.

The second quarter was closely contested, with each team scoring 25 points for a 51-43 halftime score.

Miami climbed to within three points several times in the third quarter, but could never make the push to tie or go ahead. The Magic went the final two minutes without a field goal, and House's technical free throw and James' subsequent layup with a minute to go sent the Heat into the fourth down, 74-71.

Rashard Lewis' jumper two minutes into the fourth gave the Magic an 81-73 edge, but the Heat scored 16 of the following 23 points to grab the lead.

Game Notes

An MRI revealed no significant damage to Carter's knee, but a timetable has not been set for his return...Orlando has won 15 of the last 19 meetings...The season series is tied, 1-1...The Magic improved to 7-2 at home...Orlando shot 51.4 percent from the field, compared to 41.5 percent for Miami...Bass scored 18 points, while Lewis had 14 in the victory for the Magic...Nelson was ejected with 39 seconds to go for being assessed his second technical foul.