ORLANDO, Fla. -Dwight Howard had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic ended an eight-game losing streak against the Miami Heat with an 80-77 victory.

Jameer Nelson and Steve Francis went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 12 seconds to help Orlando win its season-high third straight game.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 21 points and four assists, but the Heat shot a season-low 32 percent in losing for the third time in four games. Alonzo Mourning added 15 points and 21 rebounds, and Jason Williams was the only other Heat player in double figures with 14 points.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 points for Orlando. DeShawn Stevenson added 12 and Steve Francis had 10 points and four assists.

The Heat were with 66-63 with 8:15 left in the game on a steal and layup by Williams. The Magic scored seven straight to push the lead to 73-63 on a pair of free throws by Stevenson with 4:54 remaining.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Williams started another Miami rally, and a dunk by Wade made it 76-74 with 1:29 left. Wade missed a 20-footer with a chance to tie and Gary Payton stepped out of bounds with 13 seconds to play to prevent another attempt at a game-tying shot.

Nelson made two free throws with 12 seconds to go and Francis sank two more with 6 seconds left.

The Magic never trailed in the first half after one of their best defensive performances of the season. Orlando limited Miami to 29 percent shooting (11-of-38) but couldn’t get more than 10 points ahead because of its own shooting problems.

The Magic shot 38 percent for the half, and Pat Garrity’s baseline jumper with just under a minute left in the half gave them a 41-31 lead.

The Magic built the lead to 12 points twice late in the third quarter, but both teams still were plagued by poor shooting. Payton’s 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds left cut Miami’s deficit to 61-54 going into the fourth quarter.

Notes: Miami swept the series with Orlando the past two seasons. … Mourning, who leads the NBA in blocked shots, had four Saturday. … Howard had his eighth double-double by halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds. … Miami had a streak of 21 straight misses on 3-point attempts (0-for-11 against Dallas, 0-for-10 against Orlando) Payton’s at the end of the third quarter. … Magic G Keyon Dooling went on the inactive list with an inflamed plantar fascia in his right heel.

AP-ES-11-26-05 2159EST


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