Published January 01, 2013
| Sports Network
Orlando, FL – LeBron James scored the go-ahead basket with 1:07 left in overtime, and Dwyane Wade came through with a game-sealing steal and dunk in the final seconds as the Miami Heat outlasted the Orlando Magic, 112-110, at Amway Center.
James finished with 36 points, none bigger than his driving layup that snapped a 106-106 deadlock, and 11 assists. Chris Bosh added 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting to help the Heat bounce back from consecutive losses to Detroit and Milwaukee on its current road trip.
"We dug in," said Wade. "[Orlando] was a team that played very well. They had a lot of guys on the court that probably half the league never heard of, but they came to work and did an unbelievable job."
Wade finished with 21 points despite a 3-for-10 performance from the foul line, but intercepted a telegraphed inbounds pass from the Magic's J.J. Redick with 9.8 seconds remaining in overtime and dunked home the dagger that sent Orlando to its sixth consecutive defeat.
The Magic lost despite holding an 11-point lead late in the third quarter and a monster outing from Nikola Vucevic, who racked up 20 points and a franchise- record 29 rebounds. Arron Afflalo posted 28 points in the setback, while Redick made 9-of-13 shots -- including five from 3-point range -- in a 23- point effort.
We fought the whole game," said Vucevic. "We had a chance to win in the fourth quarter but made some mistakes. It's tough, they're the best team in the league and we were right there to beat them."
Miami trailed 77-66 with under a minute to go in the third quarter before ripping off 13 straight points, with Mike Miller's long-distance basket two minutes into the fourth forging a tie and James following with a slam off an Orlando turnover to give the Heat an edge. The game would go through five more lead changes over the rest of regulation, with the differential never greater than five points.
The Magic appeared to gain some breathing room after Afflalo converted both a 3-point play and a shot from beyond the arc around a Wade layup, with the latter bucket putting Orlando up 97-93 with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter. It remained a four-point affair with just over a minute to play, but Bosh came through with two critical field goals -- the second of which created a 99-99 tie with 35.8 seconds showing and eventually forced overtime.
Afflalo found Redick underneath with 2:11 to go in the extra session to give Orlando a 106-105 lead, but Wade made 1-of-2 free throws 20 seconds afterward and the Magic had a shot clock violation on their next trip.
James then posted up and scored to send Miami back ahead, but misfired on Miami's subsequent possession and Vucevic corralled the rebound and Orlando called time out.
Redick attempted a cross-court pass as play resumed, but Wade took it away and dribbled uncontested before throwing down a dunk for a 110-106 lead with 6.2 seconds remaining.
"I saw an absolute competitive desperation in the fourth quarter and overtime," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. "In a perfect world, I would like it where we didn't have to get pushed that far, to the brink, but our guys did not want to lose this game."
The first half was a tale of two very different quarters for Miami. The Heat shot a sizzling 63.2 percent from the field in the opening stanza, with James netting 10 points and Bosh eight to lead the defending champs to a 31-22 advantage. Miami made just 4-of-18 chances in the second, however, enabling Orlando to move in front entering the half.
Down 40-33 with seven minutes remaining before the break, Redick sparked a 12-0 Magic run by dropping in eight points and capped the spurt with a long- distance jumper that put Orlando up by five.
Vucevic amassed 13 points and 16 boards prior to intermission, with those efforts helping the Magic go into the locker room carrying a 54-48 lead.
Miami moved back ahead by recording the first seven points of the second half, but Orlando countered with a 13-2 tear to go in front by a 67-57 score with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Vucevic's 29 rebounds were one better than Shaquille O'Neal's previous club mark, which was established at New Jersey on Nov. 20, 1993. His total was also the most by an opponent ever against the Heat, besting Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut's 27 boards on Jan. 7, 2011 ... Orlando's losing streak is its longest since a six-game skid from Feb. 26-Mar. 6, 2006 ... Magic guards Jameer Nelson (strained hip) and E'Twaun Moore (sprained left elbow) both sat out a second straight game ... Miami forward Udonis Haslem returned after missing Saturday's game against Milwaukee with a sore shoulder, but managed just two points in 17 minutes ... The Heat scored 27 total points off 17 Orlando turnovers.