Orlando Magic defeat struggling Miami Heat 105-87

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic (23-20) defeated the Miami Heat (24-19) on Sunday night at the Kia Center with a strong performance.

Orlando had its full squad available for the first time this season since Halloween and returned to one of their initial lineups of Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr., Jalen Suggs, and Markelle Fultz. Wagner was returning from a stint on the injured reserve, and it took him a little bit of time to get into his normal flow.

Orlando, Florida, USA, January 31, 2024, Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner #22 makes a basket at the Kia Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Both the Magic and Heat are coming off two-game losing streaks, and with Jimmy Butler still finding his way back to form, the Heat were missing some of their usual fire.

Orlando had a balanced attack, with all five starters in double digits. Paolo Banchero had a double-double, scoring 20 points with 10 rebounds.

Orlando managed to hold Butler to 15 points, and Tyler Hero to 12. Bam Adebayo scored 22 points and had 11 rebounds for Miami.

Orlando’s tough defense caused havoc on Miami’s side. They ended the game with 18 turnovers, leading to 29 Orlando points.

Orlando’s tough defensive play was pleasing to Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley.

Orlando, Florida, USA, January 31, 2024, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro #14 jump to make a pass at the Kia Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

“I’m extremely pleased with how they played,” said Mosley. “We challenged them the last time we played them, and we held them to 99. Then tonight was even more of a challenge because we know what we’re capable of doing. The guys understand that we’re going to continue to hang our hat on the defensive end of the floor. And they all took the challenge one individual at a time.”

Orlando’s defense kept the game to low-scoring points. Holding the Heat to 87 points is a hallmark for Orlando, and leading most of the game painted a clear picture of their dominance.

“Yeah, really locked in,” said Wagner. “I thought our energy was really good, our communication, our focus on the game plan that the coaches put together, and I think everybody that came in had that same mentality. I think it translated into the game.”

Orlando is on the front end of a back-to-back and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night back at the Key Center.



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