The Miami Heat ran into some problems against the Orlando Magic, losing their Feb. 8 encounter 102-89.
The Magic came out blazing against the Heat, building up an eight point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Heat did fight back in the second quarter, cutting down the Magic's lead to 3 points before the break. Unfortunately, for the Heat, they had no answers for Orlando in the second half, forcing them to settle for the loss.
"They set the tone this game, right from the get-go," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. "We were able to get into a little bit more of an aggressiveness and attack. A little bit more of a disposition in the second quarter, but they were able to sustain it longer and more consistently than we were able to."
Miami's inability to keep Dwight Howard under control certainly played a role in the loss, with the Magic's big man putting up 25 points and 24 rebounds.
"They shot the 3 extremely well and the big fella in the middle took care of his 20 and 20 once again," LeBron James told reporters. "Sometimes you have to pick your poison, but we gave up both tonight. They are an extremely tough team to beat when they are making the 3s and the big fella is doing what he wants."
Dwyane Wade led the Heat against Orlando, finishing with a game high 33 points. LeBron had some problems with his jumper, but he still put on a respectable performance, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds. Chris Bosh struggled with his shot as well against the Magic, shooting 38 percent from the field. Bosh finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds against the Magic.
Rookie Norris Cole had his first start of the season, filling in for the injured Mario Chalmers (sprained hand). Cole certainly made the most of the opportunity (shot 50 percent from the field), finishing with 9 points and 4 assists.
Miami's next game will be against the Washington Wizards on Feb. 10.
Associated Press, "Magic cool off Heat as Dwight Howard scores 25, grabs 24 boards"
Player and game information from ESPN.com
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