The reigning Eastern Conference Champions looked in mid-season form on Sunday, as the Miami Heat opened the short exhibition schedule by giving their guests the Orlando Magic a truly sound thrashing; winning the contest 118-85. Miami had six players in double-figures; led by All-Star forward LeBron James with 19 points while Terrel Harris came in off the bench and added 16 more. Orlando had just one starter in double-figures as Jason Richardson had 11 points; however most of their offense came from two players on the bench, Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick each knocked down 22 points. Magic center Dwight Howard looked anything but super in the game, with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and a steal.
The game would remain tight throughout the first with Anderson sinking a pair at the line with 25 seconds remaining to put Orlando ahead at the end of the period by a razor-thin margin of 22-21. Both teams traded the lead back and forth in the second, until James got hot in the last 1:31 scoring six of the Heat’s final eight points of the quarter. Miami would walk into the locker room as the game reached the half on top 53-46.
The Magic came back out to the court in the third quarter; however they left their offense behind and the Heat took full advantage of the situation. Orlando could only muster 15 points in 12 minutes and Miami took over the proceedings holding an 82-61 advantage at the end of the quarter. Orlando never came close to posing a threat at any time during the fourth and Miami won the game in a rout.
James had 19 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal while Harris knocked down 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Dwyane Wade scored 14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal while Chris Bosh put up 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks and an assist. Derrick Byars came off the bench with 12 points and 2 rebounds while veteran Udonis Haslem added 11 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
Anderson would drop 22 points and grabbed 8 rebounds while Redick also came off the pine with 22 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound. Jason Richardson added 11 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds and a block in the loss. The two clubs will meet again on Wednesday in Orlando.