For the third consecutive game the 2-time reigning MVP LeBron James missed a game tying three in the final seconds, as the Miami Heat fell to the Orlando Magic, 99-96.
The Orlando Magic, who tailed by as many as 24 points used an 18-0 third quarter run to build an 89-82 lead midway through the fourth. In the final fifteen minutes of the game, the Magic out-scored the Heat, 40-9. After trading free throws in the final seconds, Miami had the ball with a chance to tie. Dwayne Wade penetrated and found a wide open Chris Bosh behind the 3-point line. Bosh would miss the shot, but the ball would get tapped out to a wide open James behind the arch. As expected, James missed the open three and time expired before Mike Bibby could get up a third attempt for the Heat.
The Orlando Magic used defense and physical play to spark their second half comeback. The Miami duo of James and Wade combined for 47 first half points, but only 10 in the second. Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy inserted Quentin Richardson into the game in the third to defend James. Q-Rich did a tremendous job of defending James. Richardson did not back down from the challenge and was not afraid to hit James with a few elbows.
Jason Richardson led the magic with 24 points. Dwight Howard scored 14 points, while pulling down 18 rebounds, and blocking 5 shots. Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Ryan Anderson again came off the bench to score 15 points. There was even a Gilbert Arenas sighting as he hit 4 threes off the bench.
For Miami, Wade finished with 28 points, and 5 assists. Mike Bibby scored 3 points in his first game as a Heat. LeBron James scored 29 points and had 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
LeBron James again has MVP type numbers this season, but he is not this season’s MVP. The main reason is Miami’s inability to defeat the top teams in the league. Another contributing factor is James’ inability to come through when it counts the most. As stated above, this is the third consecutive game in which James had missed game tying threes in the final seconds of the game. MVP’s don’t do that, and LeBron James is no MVP!