MIAMI — For months, people had circled Oct. 29, 2010, as the night when two NBA superpowers would collide.
But the highly anticipated matchup between the Orlando Magic and the new-look Miami Heat didn’t live up to the hype. Not even close. An abysmal night from the Magic offense, Dwyane Wade’s shooting and LeBron James’ passing made sure of that.
The Heat pulled away in the third quarter and routed the Magic 96-70 in front of a sellout crowd at AmericanAirlines Arena. For one night at least, Orlando just wasn’t in Miami's league.
“I think a lot of guys just weren’t used to the atmosphere,” Magic center Dwight Howard said. “They kind of got shell-shocked. It’s the first time we’ve hit adversity all season, and guys got to step up and play. I don’t think we did that tonight as a team.”
You can argue whether the Magic actually were shell-shocked. Howard later said he wasn’t singling out individual teammates.
Yet there’s no doubt that the Orlando offense looked disjointed.
The Magic compiled just five assists, an all-time franchise low for a single game. They also turned the ball over 16 times, which led to 20 Miami points.
“Their defense was very good,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “But I think when the defense is good that’s when our passing problems become evident. I thought our passing was horrendous tonight.”