Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat: Game Grades and Analysis for Heat

Christopher Walder@@WalderSportsContributor IINovember 24, 2013

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 23: The Miami Heat look on during the game against the Orlando Magic on November 23, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

After trailing by 16 points at halftime, the Miami Heat (10-3) would outscore the Orlando Magic (4-8) 62-44 in the final 24 minutes to pull out the narrow 101-99 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday night.

LeBron James' jumper with 15.1 seconds remaining gave Miami a two-point lead. Rookie Victor Oladipo's (17 points, seven rebounds and four assists) fadeaway shot to tie things up bounced off the rim.

In his return to the Heat lineup, Dwyane Wade would score 27 points and grab four rebounds.

Speaking of returns, Glen Davis, playing for the first time since January 30, would lead the Magic with 20 points and five rebounds.

Three-point shooting was key to Orlando's early lead, as the team went 9-of-13 from behind the arc, while the Heat missed all 10 of their attempts.

Key Players

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 23: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Orlando Magic on November 23, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

LeBron James, Small Forward

Three points on 1-of-3 shooting in the first half? That's not very LeBron James-esque. He did have four assists and three rebounds, but he also turned the ball over twice. 

Within the first minute of the second half, James had matched those three points with a quick three-pointer. 

He must have been inspired by Orlando's long-range shooting to start the game, as he shot 2-of-3 from behind the arc to begin the third quarter.

By the end of the period, James was pushing the boundaries of an extremely quiet triple-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. 

With the game tied at 99 and Miami in possession of the basketball, James would nail a clutch jumper over Arron Afflalo to give the Heat a two-point lead. 

That would be the game-winner.

He didn't get his triple-double (22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists), but he made the most important play of the night. 

Final Grade: A

Dwyane Wade, Shooting Guard

After missing the Heat's previous two games for precautionary reasons concerning his knee, nine-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade finally returned to the starting lineup. 

His start to the game against Orlando on Saturday night probably wasn't what he was expecting, hitting just one of his first four shots in a little under seven minutes.

Wade's shot started to fall in the second quarter, finishing the first half with eight points and three rebounds. He had one of his baskets negated after teammate Chris Anderson caused interference on the play.

In the third quarter, Wade returned to form, throwing down two wicked slam dunks, including this highlight-reel jam over Maurice Harkless and company:

He did head to the locker room in the fourth quarter, but eventually returned to the game. 

To take six days off and return with 27 points, four rebounds and four assists is very impressive indeed.

Most importantly, his knees looked great. 

Final Grade: A

Chris Bosh, Center

Prior to Saturday night, Chris Bosh had been averaging 14.7 points on 78.0 percent shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range over his last three games.

Now, his percentages were nowhere near that efficient against Orlando, but a returning Glen "Big Baby" Davis and some solid defense from Nikola Vucevic played a part in that. 

Bosh hit a key jumper with 1:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Miami a 98-94 lead, but had a costly foul against Davis that sent the big man to the free-throw line to tie the score back up at 99-99. 

He finished the night with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including six rebounds and two blocked shots.

Final Grade: B

Mario Chalmers, Point Guard

Backup Norris Cole got much of the run in the final two quarters, as Mario Chalmers played just over seven minutes in the second half.

He hit an all-important three-pointer in the third quarter as the Heat were looking to take the lead, but he immediately ruined all of his good karma by fouling Victor Oladipo on the other end, sending him to the charity stripe for three shots. 

Cole has been playing very well as of late, so it will be interesting to see how head coach Erik Spoelstra juggles the playing time between his two point guards as the season progresses. 

Final Grade: C


Shane Battier, Power Forward

Nov 23, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Orlando Magic small forward Maurice Harkless (21) falls on Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) during the first quarter at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Averaging just 5.1 points on the season, which is 11th-highest on the Miami Heat, veteran Shane Battier is never going to be counted on to put up much offense. His value comes in the form of perimeter defense and three-point shooting, despite hitting just 34.3 percent. 

In 21 minutes against the Magic, Battier had more fouls (two) than points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks combined (one).

The Heat won the game, but thanks in no part to Battier's performance.

Final Grade: F

Ray Allen, Sixth Man

The 18-year pro was basically a non-factor in this one.

Ray Allen hit just one of his five shots, grabbing three rebounds and dishing out two assists in 25 minutes.

Having him on the court keeps the defense honest, as he's clearly a threat to light it up from long range when the ball is in his hands.

Unfortunately, that just didn't happen against the Magic.

Final Grade: D+


Had it not been for Michael Beasley, that 55-39 halftime lead for the Orlando Magic could have been a heck of a lot worse. 

He scored three straight baskets late in the second quarter as he made a conscious effort to be the catalyst for a Miami Heat comeback. He would hit all four of his shots in the opening half, scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds. Considering how well he was playing, it was weird not to see him make an appearance in the final 24 minutes.

Chris Anderson provided energy and enthusiasm around the basket on both offense and defense, throwing down dunks and altering shots near the rim. Rashard Lewis was also productive, proving he's not just a shooter by driving the lane and looking to create.

Norris Cole continues to show improvement in his passing, even getting the nod from Coach Spoelstra to play late in a very close game. He finished with five points and four assists. 

James Jones, who had started the Heat's previous two games in place of Dwyane Wade, did not play. The same goes for Udonis Haslem, who appears to be slowly falling out of favor.

Final Grade: B+

What's Next?

The Miami Heat will close out the month of November with three very winnable games against teams with a combined record of 16-22.

On November 26, the defending NBA champions will play host to the Phoenix Suns, who have exceeded expectations early in the season by continuing to hover around the .500 mark at 6-6. Two days later on November 28, LeBron James will go up against his former team in the Cleveland Cavaliers

A trip north of the border to the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Raptors on November 29 will finish things up.

Follow Christopher Walder on Twitter at @WalderSports.


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