Ryan Anderson set the tone early on Wednesday night, taking three after three and making most of them on his way to a 24-point first half. That helped give the Orlando Magic a lead over the Miami Heat that they would never relinquish and provide a theme of the night in a 102-89 win over the defending Eastern Conference champs.
The volume of long shots was staggering, as Orlando's 42 attempts was the 12th time a team attempted at least that many threes in a game. The Magic attempted over half their shots from three-point range and if Dwight Howard's field goal attempts are separated out, the Magic supporting cast attempted 41 out of 69 shots from behind the arc, almost 60 percent.
As for their collective accuracy, their success in making those shots marked only the fifth time since 1986 that a team has attempted 42+ threes and made 17+ of them. The Magic became the second of those teams to win.
Though the Magic never trailed in the game, the game was still very much in doubt at the half as Miami survived the Anderson first half onslaught and trailed only by three at the half thanks to a 9-10, 18-point second quarter outburst from Dwyane Wade.
Even as Anderson cooled off in the second half, adding only three more points to his game total after the break, Quentin Richardson, Jason Richardson and Chris Duhon all knocked down threes in the third quarter and Howard scored eight, anchoring a defense that held LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to a game-altering 1-14 from the field, most of them line drive jump shots that hit the front of the rim, providing the Magic with a 16-point lead heading into the game's final quarter.
Wade warmed back up in the final quarter, scoring 11, but Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Quentin Richardson knocked down five more threes, bringing their mind numbing total to 17 made, and the Magic kept the Heat at arm's length the rest of the way. Howard added a whopping 24 rebounds to his 25 points -- the sixth time Howard accomplished that statistical feat.
Wade ended the game with a game-high 33 points on 15-24 shooting while James struggled to a 5-15 game from the field. James did add six rebounds and 10 assists, but on a night where Orlando shot five percentage points worse than Miami (47-42), the +12 advantage on made threes the Magic enjoyed was all they needed to get the win.