ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier gave Orlando the lead with a late 3-pointer, converted a three-point play in the final minute and scored 25 points in the Magic’s 113-107 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.
Fournier’s 3-pointer from the left wing gave the Magic a one-point lead with 4:17 to play. Following a difficult runner in the lane, Fournier converted another cutting layup and was fouled by Andre Iguodala to put the Magic ahead 108-101.
Aaron Gordon had 20 points and seven rebounds, Terrence Ross had 19 points, Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz had 15 points and made two free throws with 1:11 to play.
Miami seemed to take control in the third quarter when it outscored Orlando 30-23 to take an 83-79 lead. Butler made all three of his shots and scored nine points in the period.
Orlando rallied behind Fournier. He scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half.
The Sunshine State rivals opened the regular season against one another for the sixth time. Oddly, they have opened their seasons in Orlando four times in the past five seasons. The Magic are 5-1 in their six openers against the Heat.
Heat: Coach Erik Spoelstra has already started to warn his team about the perils of comparing this pandemic-impacted season to more traditional ones in the past. Said Spoelstra: “With every organization, you just need to expect the (unexpected) and be prepared for a lot of unpredictable things. I think all of us are just very aware that there is a reality that the virus is still out there. Sometimes when you are in this NBA world and you’re able to continue to do what we love to do, for a slight moment you can almost lose track of (the virus).’’
Magic: The Magic held a moment of silence prior to tipoff for franchise co-founder Jimmy Hewitt. He died last month at the age of 79. Hewitt, along with Pat Williams, helped bring the NBA to Orlando and the Magic ultimately began play in the 1989-90 season.
Heat: Host New Orleans on Friday.
Magic: At Washington on Saturday night.