ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Mike Miller knew the short-handed Orlando
Magic needed something special from him against the Miami Heat.
He responded with the best game of his career.
The Magic were without injured stars Tracy McGrady and Grant
Hill, but Miller had 31 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, and
his 22-foot jumper with 1 second to go gave the Magic a 77-75 win
''Someone needed to step up,'' said Miller, who shot 13-for-24
and fell one point shy of his career high. ''You've got Grant and
Tracy out, which is tough on our team. I tried to do as much as I
With 3.2 seconds remaining and Jacque Vaughn inbounding on the
sideline, Miller broke across the court up high before cutting back
for the pass. By then, screens by Pat Garrity and Shawn Kemp had
put Miami's Eddie Jones and Caron Butler on the floor, and Miller
was wide open on the right wing.
''Exactly the way it was drawn up,'' Orlando coach Doc Rivers
said. ''It's always nice when they work; a lot of times they don't
work. And he has to make the shot for it to work, too.''
Said Miller: ''It was just a step-in-and-jump shot. It was
After the shot fell and the 13,308 fans went into a frenzy,
Miller sauntered down the court, index fingers pointing high, as
Eminem's hit single ''Lose Yourself'' boomed through the arena.
''You know what I loved about Mike? He kept asking for the ball
throughout the game,'' Rivers said. ''He's not a guy who usually
asks for the ball, but he kept going for it.''
Orlando also got a season-high 14 points from Shawn Kemp, who
made five straight baskets in the closing minutes, to send the Heat
to their third straight loss.
''Doc drew up a couple of plays for me down the stretch,'' said
Kemp, who shot 7-for-15. ''It's decisions like that that keep me
going, makes it easier for me to put in more time before the game
or after the game.''
Miami missed a chance to win when Eddie House's buzzer-beating
heave fell far short. House tied it with 10.1 seconds to go on a
short jumper following his offensive rebound.
Butler had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Miami, while
Jones added 16 points -- only two in the final 19 minutes.
The Heat had seven turnovers and shot 5-for-16 in the fourth
''This is what we are,'' Miami coach Pat Riley said. ''We're in
a one-point game, and our guys are getting open shots that aren't
going in. What can you do about it?''
Hill sat out for the second straight game and third in five
because of his sore left ankle. He's expected to play against the
Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
McGrady had back spasms while sleeping on a couch during the
team's flight home late Friday night. Although back problems
limited him during the final month of last season, this was the
first time the problem cropped up this season.
Without those two drawing double coverages, Orlando's potent
perimeter game suffered. The Magic got off only six shots from
beyond the arc, making two.
Miller's swooping finger roll and 3-pointer on consecutive
possessions late in the second quarter capped 10 straight points
for the Magic, putting them up 42-35. At that point, Miami had made
only five of 21 shots in the period.
Miller tied his previous rebounding high of 11 with 1:10 left
''When Grant was hurt, T-Mac stepped up and became a star,''
Rivers said. ''Now, both of them are hurt, and maybe it's allowed
Mike to step up.''
Miami had won nine of 13 games against Orlando. ... Orlando
rookie forward Ryan Humphrey made his first career start, posting
two points and two rebounds in 15 minutes. ... Also making his
first start of the season was Miami center Vladimir Stepania, who
had seven rebounds but was held scoreless. He had double-figure
rebounds in his last three games, becoming the first bench player
in franchise history to do so. ... The Heat were without forward
Malik Allen (bruised sternum). ... Orlando forward-center Horace
Grant may be well enough to return to action in a week, as his left
knee continued to recover from offseason surgery. Grant played 13
minutes in the season opener, but has sat since.