98 - 104 Final - OT
  for this game

Nelson, Howard push Magic past Heat in OT

Mar 14, 2012 - 7:16 AM
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson scored four of his 25 points on a pair of slashing layups in overtime that gave the Orlando Magic a six-point lead and sparked them to a 104-98 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Dwight Howard, still the focus of trade rumors, had 24 points and 25 rebounds and the Magic pulled within four games of first-place Miami in the Southeast Division.

"We're playing some pretty good basketball right now and we just have to keep it up," said Howard, who has told the team he would like to remain with them through the end of the season.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon.

"We got a great opportunity to win and I told them that I want to be here, and I want to bring a championship here," said Howard. "I told them to give me a chance."

Dwyane Wade scored 28 points and LeBron James had 19 with 11 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Heat, who had a three-game overall winning streak snapped and lost their third straight on the road for the second time this season.

"We had opportunities in the fourth quarter and in overtime but we weren't able to capitalize on them. It was a very competitive game," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.

After Howard gave the Magic the lead with two free throws, Nelson provided a cushion.

His first layup, after a crossover near the top of the key, came on a left- handed drive through the paint for a left-handed finish. Howard blocked James at the other end to set the basket up.

Then, with under a minute to play, Nelson split James and another defender up top and got to the basket before Chris Bosh could rotate over, finishing on an underhand layup with his back to the basket to make it 102-96.

Wade got the Heat within two, but he missed a three-pointer and James missed two of them down the stretch.

Howard said the will-they-or-won't-they trade rumors surrounding him haven't affected the team.

"We like the way the team is gelling," he said. "We haven't allowed anything get between us in the locker room and when we step on the court we're together. It's been showing."

Earlier, Wade had knocked down a three with under 40 seconds to play in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 94-94. It went to overtime after Nelson's three-point try hit the front of the rim and Wade's 22-foot jumper rattled out of the hoop near the buzzer.

The game was tight early, too, with the Magic holding a 30-27 lead after the first quarter. The Heat shot better than 58 percent in the second and carried a 56-45 lead into halftime. Miami's advantage was cut to a point, 73-72, going into the fourth.

Bosh had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Heat while J.J. Redick scored 17 and Ryan Anderson had 16 with 12 rebounds for Orlando.

Game Notes

The teams split two previous meetings this season, with both winning on their home courts last month. They will play again on Sunday in Miami...First, the Magic will travel to play San Antonio on Wednesday night and the Heat will remain on the road in Chicago, also on Wednesday.