MIAMI -- A week ago, the Miami Heat were a victory from moving into third place in the Eastern Conference, getting healthier, pointing to the upcoming run of home games that could further fuel their ascension.
Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena they found a way to fall 111-109 to the NBA-worst Orlando Magic, losing starting power forward Kelly Olynyk for the night in the first quarter with a strained left shoulder.
In the latest of a series of how-low-can-you-go losses, the Heat this time blew an early 12-point lead to a Magic team lacking injured leading scorer Aaron Gordon.
With the Heat again unable to offer much in the way of deterrence, Orlando was led by the 20 points of replacement starting forward Mario Hezonja.
Guard Josh Richardson led the Heat with 20 points, with center Hassan Whiteside, back after missing Saturday's loss to the Detroit Pistons with a stomach ailment, adding 19 points and 14 rebounds.
But with the Heat's 3-point shooting off, there wasn't enough to offset the Magic's attack.
Closing the season series 2-2 against the Magic, the Heat recorded their sixth loss against the four worst teams in the East, when factoring in a pair of setbacks against the Brooklyn Nets as well losses to the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.
The game included a late video review of a shot by Tyler Johnson than initially was ruled a goal-tend for a 111-111 tie with 1.8 seconds to play. That call, however, was overruled upon video review, with the Heat then unable to get off a potential tying shot.
With Whiteside back after missing Saturday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at the end of a four-game trip, the Heat unveiled their 17th starting lineup of the season.
This time Whiteside was in the middle alongside Saturday's other starters, replacing Bam Adebayo. That had Whiteside flanked by Olynyk at power forward, Justise Winslow at small forward, Richardson at shooting guard and Goran Dragic at point guard.