Magic Snap 4-Game Losing Streak, Top Heat 116-107



Evan Fournier scored 24 points, Elfrid Payton added 20 off the bench and the Orlando Magic beat the Miami Heat 116-107 on Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and Nik Vucevic finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which swept two games in Miami for the first time since 2007-08.

Fournier scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with about a minute left to put Orlando up by six.

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Dion Waiters returned from a sprained ankle and scored 23 points for Miami, whose eight-game home winning streak was snapped. Goran Dragic scored 22 points for the Heat, who have lost two straight following a 13-game winning streak.

James Johnson scored 15 points and Hassan Whiteside grabbed 19 rebounds for the Heat, who were outrebounded 52-37.

Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel has pointed to Miami’s about-face for weeks, stressing to his team that it’s still not too late to save its season. Now, after the Magic played with purpose all night and showed a steely resolve in the face of adversity to beat the Heat 116-107 at AmericanAirlines Arena, Vogel is hopeful that Orlando can put together a season-saving run just as Miami did recently.

“Momentum is a crazy thing in this league and one win can do that,’’ Vogel said of potentially sparking a run. “It stops the bleeding, stops the pain because it’s no fun losing in this league, particularly the other night the way we lost. Losing at the buzzer or in a blowout, neither way is fun. So a win would (lifts) the spirits for sure.’’

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The much-needed victory allowed Orlando (21-36) to snap a four-game losing streak and move beyond Saturday’s unsightly 112-80 loss in Dallas. The hope, now, is that Monday’s stirring victory can help the Magic build the confidence needed to put together a feel-good winning streak before the break for the NBA All-Star Game.

“It can be very powerful,’’ said Magic point guard Elfrid Payton, who made seven of 15 shots and six of seven free throws for 15 points off the bench. “Just like in a game, when you see one shot go in you can start to get into a rhythm and then hit a few more. Hopefully, this is the start of something for us.’’


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