(Reuters) - The Orlando Magic beat the Miami Heat 104-95 on Wednesday, the third straight loss for a talent-laden squad that is off to a disappointing start to the NBA season.
Dwight Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds while Jameer Nelson scored 11 fourth-quarter points to help the Magic avenge a 26-point loss to the Heat earlier this season.
Two-times reigning NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James had 25 points and Chris Bosh shook off a back injury to add 21, but the struggles continued for the Heat, which slipped to 8-7 on the season.
Miami, which signed James and fellow All Star Bosh during the off-season to join Dwyane Wade, have yet to display the look of a contender for an NBA title while dealing with injuries to key reserves Udonis Haslem (foot) and Mike Miller (thumb).
"If we had the answer we wouldn't be sitting at around .500. (It's) something we have to continue to dissect and get better," James told reporters of the reason for the team's woes.
"It's huge pressure (for us) but we knew that. I think this team was ready for it, and still is."
Wade had 18 points but made just 6 of 21 shots one game after he went 1-for-13 from the field on Monday.
Trailing for most of the game, Miami grabbed a one-point lead on Orlando with 6:48 remaining but Nelson tallied six points during an 8-0 run that closed out the game for Orlando(10-4).
Nelson, who finished with 17 points and 14 assists, was ejected during the game's final seconds after picking up a second technical foul for taunting a Miami player.
Orlando guard Jason Williams was also ejected from the game when he threw the ball in the direction of Heat player Jamaal Magloire in the third quarter.
However, the Magic overcame the ill-discipline to win for the fifth time in six games despite also playing without starting guard Vince Carter, who injured his knee in Monday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
J.J. Redick started in his place and scored 20 points while Brandon Bass chipped in 18 points off the bench for Orlando, including 16 in the first half where Miami's Bosh headed to the locker room with back spasms before returning.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Edited by Patrick Johnston)
|< Prev||Next >|