Kim Klement/USA TODAY
The Heat gave the Magic fair warning of what was to come in the opening five minutes of the game. There Miami turned missed shot after missed shot into bucket after bucket to build a 16-0 lead.
That is what a defending championship team does. They attack and distribute, taking advantage of every little mistake when their attention is turned to high.
Orlando fought back and even took a 32-31 lead behind Arron Afflalo's 20 first-half points. That second adjustment beyond the eye of the storm would prove to be too much for the Magic.
The Heat outscored the Magic 66-42 in the second half, holding the Magic to 41.2 percent shooting in the final 24 minutes while shooting 54.3 percent on their own. A five-point halftime lead ballooned to 36 at one point behind a 20-5 run to open the fourth quarter.
Orlando had no answers defensively and with Nikola Vucevic in foul trouble succumbed to Miami's pressure defense in a 120-92 loss at Amway Center on Wednesday.
"They're really good," Jacque Vaughn said. "LeBron came down and tried to impose his will on the game. They're a team that a lot of times after halftime they make adjustments and they come out kicking it in fourth and fifth gear. LeBron established himself and they have shooters all around. It gets us playing catch up which is tough to do against that team."
James played the entire third quarter to put the game away. He actually only took three field goals and had seven points to go with three assists. His final stat line had him with 21 points and seven assists on 5-for-11 shooting.
James imposed his will in other ways. I am sure he had numerous hockey assists coming out of the attention the Magic gave him in the post. Vaughn said the Heat got on their run thanks to turnovers and transition buckets and James' willingness to pass out of the post and find shooters.no comments