Wade topped 40 points in the Heat’s two latest losses to Orlando, and the Magic will look to beat Miami for the 13th time in 14 games Wednesday night at Amway Arena and stretch their overall winning streak to six.
Wade has scored 30.7 points per game lifetime versus Orlando (11-3), and he’s averaged 36.5 points in his last eight games against Miami’s Southeast Division rival since April 9, 2006.
The Magic have won seven of those contests, however, despite Wade’s individual dominance. In all, they’ve won 12 of 13 against the Heat (8-5)— injuries kept Wade out of five of those games—by an average of 12.9 points.
They’ve been even more impressive when Miami’s visited Orlando. The Magic have won their past six games against the Heat in central Florida by 20.8 points, including a 122-99 win Feb. 22 when Wade (50) outscored the rest of his teammates.
“My concern is when Dwyane goes into the Hall of Fame and they start putting off his top career games, it’s going to be like 50 versus Orlando,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said after that victory. “We’re going to fill up the entire screen.”
Other than Wade putting up a big point total, the common theme in the series has been Dwight Howard(notes) recording a double-double. He’s done so in 12 straight games against Miami, averaging 20.1 points on 62.6 percent shooting and grabbing 14.2 rebounds per game.
Howard’s shooting a career-high 62.5 percent from the field through 14 games this season, but he’s taking fewer shots (9.1 per game) than ever before. He didn’t make more than five shots for the fourth straight game Sunday in Toronto, but Orlando got scoring from other sources. Vince Carter(notes) had a game-high 24 and J.J. Redick(notes) added 19 off the bench in the Magic’s 104-96 win.
“It wasn’t like we looked around and said ‘Holy crap, we don’t have an All-Star on the floor,”’ said Redick, who had averaged 3.0 points in his last four games after scoring 12.3 in his first nine. “We just went out and played with a group that has been successful before.”
Williams, who spent three seasons with Miami and started alongside Wade during the Heat’s 2006 championship run, has 14 assists and three turnovers in his three starts since Jameer Nelson(notes) (knee surgery) was sidelined.
Wade scored 31 on Sunday, but got some help from another starter on Miami’s title team to help end a three-game losing streak. Udonis Haslem(notes) was one of five Heat players in double figures, finishing with 14 after banking in a jumper with 15.4 seconds to lift Miami to a 102-101 win.
“We expect him to do that,” Wade said of Haslem, who returned after missing two games with a sore left shoulder. “It was one of those shots that we needed. The basketball gods were with us on that one.”
While guard Quentin Richardson(notes) has missed the past two games with a lower back strain and is questionable Wednesday, Michael Beasley(notes) has stepped up offensively. Last year’s No. 2 overall pick, who scored 9.5 points per game against Orlando as a rookie, has averaged 19.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last three games.