By John Denton
July 2, 2017
ORLANDO – An Orlando Magic momentum that started midway through Saturday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers carried over to the early stages of Sunday’s defeat of the Miami Heat.
A day after wiping out a 20-point deficit in a narrow loss to the Pacers, the Magic scored the first 21 points of Sunday’s game and withstood a furious second-half rally from Miami in an 81-68 victory in the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League.
Orlando (1-1) held Miami (0-2) scoreless for the first 5 minutes, 35 seconds of the game while building a 21-0 lead. Miami would fall behind by as many as 23 in the second quarter before charging back in the second and third quarters. The Heat got to within 53-48 midway through the third, but they could never fully overtake the Magic.
“I thought (the Magic) probably got a little confidence in terms of getting themselves back in (Saturday’s) game and they came today feeling like they are a real team and a good team,’’ Magic summer league coach Chad Forcier said. “We thought if we repeated what we did (on Saturday) and cleaned up a few areas, we might have some different results.’’
Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, the No. 6 pick in the May 22 NBA draft, started quickly and played well in limited minutes. He had 15 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot in 22 minutes. The 6-foot-10, 210-pound Isaac had a thunderous follow-up dunk of a missed shot with 4:52 to play to push Orlando’s lead back to 13 points.
With the outcome already decided, the Magic called timeout in the final seconds in hopes of outscoring Miami in the fourth quarter for an extra point in the league’s scoring system. The ball eventually went to Isaac, who drilled a 17-foot, step-back shot just before the final horn to give the Magic a 19-17 edge in the final period.
“I didn’t expect it to go to me,’’ joked Isaac, who made seven of 12 shots to bounce back from a two-of-10 day on Saturday. “I was telling (Miami’s) Okaro (White), `It’s not for me; it’s for someone else.’ But they gave it to me and I was able to knock it down.’’
Miami center Bam Adebayo, the 14th pick in the draft, overcame a poor shooting night with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. One of his finest moments of the game came in the fourth quarter when he needed just one hand to intercept an open-court pass. He then got the ball to Gian Clavell (12 points and three 3-pointers) for a 3-pointer that got the Heat within 68-62.
Point guard Derrick Walton Jr. steadied the Magic in a shaky second half and finished with 13 points, three assists and two 3-pointers. Marcus Georges-Hunt and Kalin Lucas each chipped in 12 points for Orlando, which shot 45.3 percent from the floor.
Miami, which hit just 29.9 percent of its shots and turned the ball over 16 times, got 15 points and six rebounds from White.
Orlando led 46-34 at the half, but only after Miami had rallied to erase a big chunk of the Magic’s 23-point lead. Miami outscored Orlando 25-14 in the second quarter.
The Magic opened the game with 21 straight points as the Heat struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor. Miami missed its first five shots and turned the ball over five times before finally scoring its first points (on two Adebayo free throws) some 5:35 into the game. Things weren’t much better by the end of the first quarter when the Heat trailed 32-9 and had missed 14 of their first 16 shots.
The 19-year-old Isaac said the last time he was a part of a game that opened 21-0 he was playing for an Orlando-based AAU team. This time around it came at the NBA level and it led to his first professional victory – one he felt that he played much better in than his debut on Saturday.
“Just like anything, the more you do it the more relaxed you get with it,’’ Isaac said. “The second game I felt a lot more comfortable and more relaxed.’’
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