ORLANDO, Fla. - The warm-up acts are over.
A perfect preseason? Gone. An opening-night blowout? Forgotten. For t he Orlando Magic, LeBron James and the new-look Miami Heat await.
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Magic to a 112-83 victory over the Washington Wizards in the debut of No. 1 pick John Wall on Thursday night, giving the NBA’s newest arena a grand opening and setting the stage for tonight’s Sunshine State showdown.
After months of talk, Superman and all his sidekicks finally have a chance to make a real statement.
Some couldn’t even wait another night.
“Honestly, I’m sick of listening every hour about Miami – Miami that, how great they are, how big they are, what kind of record they gonna have,” said backup center Marcin Gortat, who had eight points and seven rebounds.
Wall had 14 points and nine assists on 6-of-19 shooting, much of it in mop-up time.