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(Wednesday, March 6th)
Final Score: Miami 97, Orlando 96
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James just wouldn't let Miami's winning streak end, even after the Heat blew a 20-point lead against one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
James knifed through the lane for a left-handed layup with 3.2 seconds left to boost the Heat to a 97-96 victory over the Orlando Magic.
The reigning league MVP had 26 points, as the Heat extended a franchise-record with their 16th consecutive win.
"We don't really even talk about it," James said of the winning streak. "We don't really get caught up into the streak at all."
Dwyane Wade tallied 24 points, but the Heat had to overcome a great game from Nikola Vucevic. The second-year forward had 25 points and 21 rebounds, but the Magic faltered for the 21st time in their last 24 games.
The Heat won despite shooting 4-of-17 from the field in the fourth quarter. That included an 0-of-8 showing from beyond the arc. James' layup was the only bucket for the Heat in the final seven minutes.
Jameer Nelson's fadeaway jumper extended Orlando's lead to 96-93 with 1:36 left.
James then missed a pair of 3-point shots, but the Magic couldn't take advantage as Tobias Harris was whistled for an offensive foul for plowing into Shane Battier.
Wade and teammate Ray Allen each missed shots from beyond the arc, but when Vucevic fouled out with 38 seconds left, a pair of free throws from Chris Bosh had the hosts within a point.
Wade then came up with a block of DeQuan Jones' short shot, and after a timeout Al Harrington was off the mark on a 3-point shot.
James secured the rebound with 12.6 seconds left, and after a timeout he drove the lane for the go-ahead bucket. Arron Afflalo's desperation half-court heave caromed high off the backboard, and the Heat won their 12th in a row AmericanAirlines Arena.
Bosh ended with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat went only 6-of-28 from 3- point range, but converted 27-of-31 at the charity stripe.
Nelson finished with 16 points and 14 assists for the Magic, who ended the same from long distance as the Heat. Harris also scored 16, while Afflalo had 13 and Mo Harkless 12.
"It was just a matter of seconds, it could have changed the game," Harris said. "It's a tough loss for us, but a step in the right direction."
Miami led by seven after the first quarter and by a 55-40 count at the half, and then 60-40 early in the third when the Magic started a comeback.
Vucevic scored 10 in the third, and his two free throws closed the period with the Magic trailing 77-74. They ended the third on a 19-8 spurt.
Nelson's 3-point play gave Orlando its first lead of the night at 82-81 early in the fourth.
"We had a lot of lapses on defense," Bosh said. "We can't put ourselves in that situation. Next time we have to be more urgent about it and do better."
James has currently scored in double-figures in 478 consecutive games, and in 200 straight games for the Heat, extending a franchise record ... James went 1-of-6 from 3-point range and he has 999 for his career.
03/07 00:49:10 ET
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