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Heat 108, Magic 94

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- LeBron James scored 24 points, and the Miami Heat won their 27th consecutive game Monday night, overwhelming the Orlando Magic 108-94 at Amway Arena.

The Heat are chasing the NBA-record, 33-game winning streak the Los Angeles Lakers posted in the 1972-73 season.

James added 11 assists and nine rebounds. Mario Chalmers had 17 points and Miami, and Chris Bosh added 12.

Magic guard Jameer Nelson led everyone with 27 points and 12 assists, but the Magic never led in the second half. Tobias Harris had 20 points for the Magic (18-53).

The Heat were without Dwyane Wade, who missed his second consecutive game with a bruised right knee. The Magic were without starters Nikola Vucevic (concussion), Arron Afflalo (hamstring) and Glen Davis (foot).

The Heat buried the Magic by making 15 of 28 shots from 3-point range.

Miami continues its road trip with games in Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio before coming home to play the New York Knicks.

After trailing by nine points at intermission, the Magic tied the game at 68 on a 3-point basket by Jameer Nelson midway in the third. The Heat, though, closed the period with a 10-0 run, including seven points from James to regain the momentum.

The Heat led 55-46 at intermission, getting a surprising contribution from former Magic star Rashard Lewis, who has been used sparingly this season since signing as a free agent.

Lewis, who helped the Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009, hit a trio of 3-pointers in the third period, and he finished with 11 points in 15 minutes. He came into the game averaging just 3.7 points in his 43 games.

The Magic led by as many as six points in the second quarter, but the Heat rallied with a 13-0 run that included two Lewis 3-pointers.

Nelson had 10 points in the first quarter. Mike Miller, who was starting in place of Wade, scored a quick five points in the first five minutes.

James was quiet in the first half with just six points, two rebounds and one assist. He did not attempt a free throw. Chalmers had a game-high 13 first-half points, having hit three 3-pointers.

NOTES: Wade said Monday that the NBA has not yet seen the best of the Heat this season. "We're still getting better. We still haven't reached our potential," he said. "We've still got growing to do." Wade said he expects to play Wednesday in Chicago. He originally hurt the knee against the Magic on March 6 when he banged knees with another player. ... Bosh said before the game that the hoopla surrounding the streak really hasn't changed anything. "It's our normal," Bosh said. "It's the world we live in. Our regular season is like 82 playoff games before the playoffs." ... Vucevic missed a third consecutive game. Vucevic averaged 22.5 points and 25 rebounds (yes, averaged) in the two earlier games against the Heat. ... The Magic already were part of this Heat streak before Monday. They were the Heat's 16th victim, having narrowly lost after leading by three with 1:36 remaining. ... Miami's streak includes a 20-0 record since the All-Star break and 17 consecutive victories at home, which is one shy of the franchise record. ... Detroit Tigers star pitcher Justin Verlander, who was training nearby in Lakeland, sat courtside.
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