Miami, Jan. 28 (BNA): Bam Adebayo has a theory. All of these close games the Miami Heat are playing now, in his mind, offer valuable lessons to learn later in the season.
And the fact that they’re winning so many of those games right now is an added bonus, the AP reports.
Jimmy Butler scored 29 points, Adebayo added 20, and the Heat rallied again in the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 110-105 on Friday night. Capped off a 3-0 home run for the Heat, those wins came by three, four and five points.
“I don’t know if we just like fights,” Adebayo said. “I don’t know if we just want to make it fun.”
Max Stross scored 17 points, 15 of them on three-pointers, for Miami that led the season with six times over . 500 at 28-22. Caleb Martin scored 13 points, Gabe Vincent 11 and Tyler Hero scored ten points for the Heat.
Paolo Panchero, Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony each scored 19 points for the Magic, while Wendell Carter Jr. scored 16 and Markel Fultz added 10. Orlando is 14-10 in its last 24 games, after starting the season 5-20.
Transformations simply wiped out the magic. They had 20 points, compared to Miami’s 11, and the Heat converted Orlando’s gifts to 32. Orlando scored 13 points off Miami’s turnover.
“We turned it around,” Magic coach Jamaal Moseley said. “When it comes down to it, you gotta take care of basketball. I loved our fight. I loved the fact that we were in it, in a great environment, on the road, against a tough team. But you gotta take care of basketball.”
The Strouss put up a 3-pointer with 3:01 left in the third over Miami 73-69. The rest of the quarter was all Orlando. The Magic finished third on a 10-0 run, then scored the first basket of the fourth to go up 81-73 on a Moritz Wagner dunk.
Then the momentum returned to Miami. The Heat scored 19 of the next 25 points to go up 92-87, setting up another neat end to the now-completed Miami homestand three-game theme.
The Heat beat New Orleans by four goals on Sunday, then Boston by three goals on Tuesday.
“Anytime we win, it’s a good thing,” said Butler.
Magic: Jonathan Isaacs, who returned to the Magic lineup for the first time in 2-1/2 years earlier this week after knee and hamstring injuries, was inactive for the first night of a back-to-back game. He played in Orlando games on Mondays and Wednesdays. … Anthony scored 17 points in the first half, which equaled his best performance in the first half of the season. He had 17 saves against Atlanta on October 21st.
Heat: Rapper and CEO — and star of one of Miami’s intro videos this season — Rick Ross was in the game celebrating his birthday. He turns 47 on Saturday. … It was Miami’s 50th game of the season and 37th game decided in single figures. Heat 21-16 in those games. … The Heat outgained the Magic 54-32 in the paint.
The first of 4
This is the first of four meetings between the rivals in Florida this season. They will meet again on February 11th, March 11th, and on the final day of the season, April 9th.
The Magic have now played all other teams in the league at least once this season. Miami has yet to face New York or Philadelphia.
Magic: Chicago hosts Saturday Night.
The Heat: In Charlotte on Sunday.