Thursday, March 30, 2023
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NBA Preview: Miami Heat (36-32) at Orlando Magic (27-40)

The Miami Heat will take on the struggling Orlando Magic on Saturday night in the second game of a back-to-back following a fourth-quarter comeback in their victory over Cleveland on Friday night.

Jimmy Butler’s 4-of-4 shooting from the floor in the fourth quarter on Friday helped Miami outscore Cleveland 37-26. Head servant scored a group high 33 focuses for his third consecutive game with something like 26.

At the conclusion of a six-game homestand, Miami had a record of 3-3 thanks to the victory.

In the press conference that followed the game, Butler gave Caleb Martin credit for getting good minutes off the bench, especially on defense.

Max Strus scored 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range, one of many important contributions Miami received from the bench. Victor Oladipo had three steals and eight points.

With a 1 1/2-game lead over eighth-place Atlanta, the Heat remain in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, the top spot among the four play-in spots. Before Saturday’s trip to Orlando, Miami is two and a half games behind sixth-place Brooklyn.

With a three-game losing streak and losses in four of their last five games, the Magic have lost ground in their pursuit of 10th place and the final play-in position.

After losing to Utah on Thursday by a score of 131-124, Orlando is now 0-3 in four home games and will play Utah on Saturday.

The Magic came back from trailing by 13 points in the third quarter against the Jazz and briefly led, but they were unable to keep up with Utah in the final quarter.

Walker Kessler of Utah scored on two putbacks, including an and-one, in crucial final moments.

For much of the season, the Magic have kept their opponents off the offensive glass well. On that end, Utah only pulled in 11 rebounds on Thursday.

Orlando, on the other hand, had trouble in other defensive areas during its earlier this week defeats to Portland and Milwaukee. The Trail Blazers made 16 3-pointers, and the Magic allowed the Bucks to shoot 46 percent from the floor.

An Orlando team that has lost five games by seven points or less since January 27 suffered two more close losses as a result of the different makeup of each loss. These losses were 110-105 and 107-103 in overtime in its two previous encounters with Miami.

The Magic conceded 23 points to Tyler Herro, 22 to Butler, 20 to Gabe Vincent, and 13 points and 17 rebounds to Bam Adebayo in the overtime loss on February 11. The Heat forced the Magic into 18 mistakes and took 11 offensive rebounds.

In that game, Fultz scored more points than anyone else from Orlando. Fultz has scored 25 points in the game against Utah. In the loss on Thursday, Paolo Banchero scored 26 points, averaging 20.1 points per game for the season.

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