MIAMI — Another big lead, another big collapse.
It’s becoming a trend for the Miami Heat — and one the Orlando Magic were more than thrilled to exploit Thursday night.
Heat Is Off
At the end of close games, the Heat do not spread the wealth. In the last five minutes of regulation or overtime and with the score within five points, the Heat assist on 42.8 percent of their made field goals, far below their season average of 53.1.
Heat Check – This Season
Pct Ast FG 53.1 42.8
FG pct 47.5 42.1
*Last 5 min of 4th quarter or OT, 5-pt game
powered by ESPN Stats and Info
Down by 24 points in the third quarter, the Magic went on an unbelievable 40-9 run over the next 15 minutes and stunned the Heat 99-96, the second-largest comeback in Orlando franchise history and matching the second-biggest in the NBA this season.
Jason Richardson scored 24 points for Orlando, 11 of them to kick start the epic burst that turned a 73-49 deficit into an 89-82 lead.
“Well, that defies explanation,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.
There’s only been six instances this season of a team taking a 22-point lead or more and losing. The Heat have been victimized that way twice, both times at home, the first against the Utah Jazz in the season’s earliest stages.
This one seemed to cut much deeper.
“We’ve blown a lot of games where we were in full control,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said. “And we have to do something.”