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Heat 105, Magic 93

The SportsXchange

MIAMI - The Miami Heat played without three starters - LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers - and still had more than enough to win their regular-season finale, beating the Orlando Magic, 105-93, Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.

James missed the game to tend to unspecified personal matters, Bosh sat out to rest a minor knee injury, and Chalmers did the same with a banged-up ankle.

Even so, the Heat (66-16) got the win to close the regular season on a stunning run of 37 wins in 39 games. Miami has won eight games in a row, despite resting many of its stars for most of those games, and finished the regular season with a 37-4 home mark.

Dwyane Wade, the Heat's one superstar who did play, led Miami with 21 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in just 24 minutes. He helped the Heat take a 29-20 lead after one quarter, 55-47 at halftime and 85-74 after three periods. The Heat cruised from there as Wade rested.

The Heat also got 21 points from Mike Miller, who made 6 of 8 three-point attempts, perhaps making a statement that he deserves postseason minutes.

The Magic (20-62) ended their season with 12 straight road losses. Their last road win was March 4 at New Orleans.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

The Heat also swept the season series with Orlando, 4-0. It was Miami's first sweep over Orlando since 2004-2005.

NOTES: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on the upcoming playoffs: "Everybody is eager. We feel we have managed (giving players rest) fairly well. Once you get to the playoffs, you do whatever it takes." ... The Magic entered the season finale tied with Charlotte for the worst record in the NBA. Charlotte won on Wednesday, giving the Magic the distinction alone. ... The Heat finished this season 15-1 on the second night of back-to-back games, a testament to the team's "no excuses" motto, Spoelstra said. ... As bad as the Magic have been this year, there is optimism for the future based on the development of young players such as Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. Harkless, a rookie, averaged 14.9 points over 15 games entering Wednesday. Harris, a second-year pro, averaged 17.2 points in the first 26 games since being acquired from the Bucks. Vucevic, a second-year pro, averaged 12.4 and 11.5 rebounds over his first 68 games. Then he missed five games due to a concussion. In his first eight games back, he was even better, averaging 18.1 points and 15.5 rebounds. ... Magic coach Jacque Vaughn admires the job Spoelstra did with the Heat this season. "One of the toughest things to do after you win a championship is to keep those guys motivated and producing results year after year."
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