Evan Fournier scored nine of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, leading host Orlando Magic to the Miami Heat 113-107 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Orlando finished the game in a 19-12 set.
Magic forward Aaron Gordon battled fouls to score 20 points, including 11 in the fourth period.
Terrence Ross, who suffered a toe injury, added 19 points for Orlando. Nikola Vucevic, who made only 2 of 8 free throw attempts and 5 of 13 field goal attempts, still had 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was 3 to 5 on a 3 point range.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and 11 rebounds.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler, who averaged 43 minutes in last year’s NBA Finals – which ended just 72 days ago – had seven interceptions in 36 minutes. Butler also contributed 19 points and seven assists.
The Heat got 20 points and seven assists from Goran Dragic, 14 points from Duncan Robinson and 13 points from Tyler Herro.
The Magic also had 15 points and four assists from Markelle Fultz.
Rookie point guard Cole Anthony, the Orlando first-round pick, had six points and six assists with three turnovers in 19 minutes on his NBA debut.
Miami’s first-round pick Precious Achiuwa scored eight points in 14 minutes on his first outing.
Miami led 29-27 after a first quarter that featured good shots from both teams: 54.5% for Orlando and 52.4% for Miami. The difference was the Heat’s 3 point shot (4 v 6) versus the Magic (2 v 7).
The Magic were leading 57-53 at halftime as both teams continued to shoot over 50%.
Butler scored nine points in the third quarter, helping Miami take an 83-79 lead. Gordon was called up for two fouls – his third and fourth of the game – in the opening 70 seconds of the third period, and he missed the remainder of the quarter.
It helped Miami come together as Orlando missed their last six shots of the period.
Gordon, after going scoreless in the third, scored seven points in the first 3:27 of the fourth, and the Magic rode on that momentum to victory.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download from 4 a.m. and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, contact us.