Poof it disappeared.
We're talking about the Miami Heat's 24-point lead with just under 9 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter of Thursday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. Those who look at the glass as half full will talk about a great Magic comeback. Orlando closed the game on a 50-23 run, producing the second-largest comeback win in franchise history. The only one bigger was a 1989 win over the Cavaliers after trailing by 25 points.
It marked the second straight comeback win for the Magic, now just 3 1/2 games behind the Heat in the Southeast Division. On Tuesday, the Magic trailed the Knicks by 11 points at halftime, but Jameer Nelson scored 23 of his 26 points in the second half to power Orlando to a 6-point win.
LeBron James & Dwyane Wade
Thursday vs Magic
Those who tend to see the glass as half empty will point to the Heat letting another one get away. It happened Sunday night against the new-look Knicks. And it happened again Thursday against their rivals from Central Florida.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that only one other NBA team has lost a game after leading by 24 or more points this season.
That was the Detroit Pistons, who blew a 25-point lead in a 120-116 loss to the Raptors on December 11.
It's the second time that the Heat have lost a game in which they led by 20 or more points this season. On November 9, also in Miami, the Heat blew a 22-point lead in dropping a 116-114 decision to the Jazz. That was the night Paul Millsap channeled his inner Kobe Bryant, putting up a career-high 46 points.
Miami continues to demonstrate a stunning inability to defeat good teams. Against the Spurs, Celtics, Mavericks, Bulls and Lakers -- the top five teams this season in terms of win percentage -- the Heat are a dismal 1-7. They've split four games with the Magic. And in games decided by five points or fewer, the Heat are 5-12. That yields a win percentage of .294, tying them with Philadelphia (also 5-12) for second-lowest in the league in such games, ahead of only Minnesota (4-12, .250).
Not the reassurance a Heat fan needs with the playoffs coming into focus.