Beede’s Breakdown: How host Magic handled Heat

After missing eight games straight due to a right ankle sprain, Magic forward Franz Wagner made his way back to the court as Orlando held off the Miami Heat at Kia Center on Sunday night.

Jamahl Mosley’s squad dominated Miami in a number of key areas in order to capture the 105-87 victory to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Magic (23-20) out-rebounded Miami 44-36, outscored their in-state foe 54-36 in the paint and finished with a 23-10 advantage in second-chance opportunities.

After defeating the Heat (24-19) on the first night of a back-to-back, Orlando returns to Kia Center on Monday when it hosts the Cavaliers (Bally Sports Florida, 7).

Starting 5

Not only was Wagner back in the fold, Mosley was able to use his opening-night starting lineup that previously played just four games together: guards Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs plus forwards Wagner and Paolo Banchero along with center Wendell Carter Jr.

Fultz and Carter, who both missed significant time due to various injuries, returned to the starting lineup against the Heat after coming off the bench for a handful of contests.

Each member of the first group on the floor finished in double figures as Orlando’s starters combined for 79 of the team’s 105 points.

Wagner seemed confident driving to the basket and finding his spots to score 19 points with 5 rebounds. He sank a pair of triples as well.

His connection with Carter was strong as Wagner assisted on three dunks, including an alley-oop in the third quarter. The Magic center scored 14 of his 17 points in the paint and added a 3 from the top of the key in the fourth.

Fultz initiated the offense for the first five and often attacked the paint either looking to score or pass. He made his first six attempts from the floor for 12 points and dished out 4 assists.

The Magic point guard offered elite off-ball defense and came up with 2 blocks and 2 steals, one of which he turned into a transition dunk late in the second quarter.

Banchero was double-teamed early and often but he still found his way to score on all three levels. After sinking a trio of 3-pointers, he finished with a team-high 20 points.

Suggs (11 points) was far from accurate beyond the arc (1 of 6) but his lone 3-pointer capped off a 14-2 run late in the third quarter that helped Orlando grab control of the game.

Second Unit

Mosley relied on an 11-man rotation with Anthony Black, Cole Anthony, Joe Ingles, Jonathan Isaac, Caleb Houstan and Moe Wagner coming off the bench.

Ingles (0 of 2 from 3) failed to score but helped direct traffic when on the court with 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

It was Moe Wagner who led the reserves in scoring with 8 points, 6 of which came from the free throw line.

Isaac (6 points in 14 minutes) was active on both ends and slammed in two dunks running from the corner in the second quarter. He added a block and a rebound.

Anthony nailed Orlando’s first 3-pointer of the game midway through the second frame and crashed the boards with success to tally 6 rebounds.

He left the game early in the fourth after recording 2 assists, a block and a steal. Mosley said afterward that Anthony tweaked his ankle but he should be fine.

The Magic emptied their bench with just over 3 minutes remaining, which allowed rookie Jett Howard, Chuma Okeke and Trevelin Queen to close out the 18-point win.

Rookie Watch

Black was part of Orlando’s second unit, which indicates he’s earned a spot in the rotation following the return of the Fultz to the starting lineup.

The rookie guard (6 points) sank a corner 3 late in the first quarter as the shot clock expired and later drove into the paint from the corner for a layup.

Howard went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line, blocked one shot and grabbed a rebound in the final 3 minutes. Following the win, Orlando assigned him to join Osceola again in the G League.

Email Jason Beede at or follow him on X, known as Twitter, at @therealBeede.