Bam Adebayo’s big shot lifts Heat over Magic

Bam Adebayo hit a go-ahead jumper at the free-throw line with 18.8 seconds left, leading the host Miami Heat to a 99-96 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Magic star Paolo Banchero missed a short banker with 11.9 seconds left. He grabbed the rebound and missed a layup that would have put Orlando on top.

After two free throws by Miami’s Haywood Highsmith, Banchero had a chance to send the game to overtime, but he missed a 3-poiner from the top of the key as the ball bounced off the back of the rim, ending the contest.

The Heat continued their home mastery over the Magic, beating Orlando for the eighth straight time in Miami. The Magic’s last win in Miami was in March 2019.

Banchero led all scorers with 25 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.

Orlando’s Moritz Wagner scored 19 points off the bench and Chuma Okeke had 16 points on 4-for-8 shooting from deep.

Miami’s Duncan Robinson scored a team-high 23 points. Adebayo added 21 points and 11 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season. Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 19 points.

Miami played without two of its top three scorers — Jimmy Butler (toe) and Tyler Herro (shoulder). Kyle Lowry (hand) also sat out.

Orlando was missing second-leading scorer Franz Wagner (ankle) as well as Wendell Carter Jr. (knee), Jonathan Isaac (illness) and Gary Harris (calf).

Miami’s Caleb Martin, who had missed seven straight games, and Orlando’s Joe Ingles, who had missed 13 contests, returned from ankle injuries. Martin had 11 points and Ingles had 14.

Miami closed the final minute of the first quarter on a 7-0 run, earning a 30-22 lead. Robinson led Miami with nine first-quarter points.

Orlando, which went 5-for-13 on second-period 3-pointers, cut its deficit to 56-55 at halftime. Jaquez led all first-half scorers with 15 points.

Miami inched further ahead in the third, ending the period with a 75-73 advantage.

With 38.3 seconds left in the fourth, Banchero swished a turnaround baseline jumper over Josh Richardson to give Orlando a 96-95 lead.

But Adebayo came back to hit his big jumper over Wagner, and Banchero’s misses sealed Orlando’s defeat.

Miami finished with a 52-38 edge in paint points.