LeBron's debut in South Beach a win for Heat - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

LeBron's debut in South Beach a win for Heat

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Miami Heat's starting five, from left to right Joel Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Arroyo, stand during pregame festivities of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, in Miami. (AP Photo) Miami Heat's starting five, from left to right Joel Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Arroyo, stand during pregame festivities of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, in Miami. (AP Photo)

MIAMI (AP) — For this home opener unlike any other, the Miami Heat deviated from the years-old script of having starters run onto the floor when their name was called.

Instead, in a darkened arena, each of the Heat first-stringers stood still as a spotlight shined upon them.

The message couldn't have been less subtle: All eyes are on this team, and they showed why Friday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James had 15 points and seven assists and the Heat scored the first 14 points of the second half to turn a close game into a surprisingly one-sided 96-70 victory over the Orlando Magic.

"This is what we envisioned," James said.

The same couldn't have been said in the Magic locker room. Orlando has owned this series, winning 15 of the past 20 games against Miami before Friday — before Wade, James and Chris Bosh teamed up to form an instant title contender.

And the result was nothing short of shocking. The Heat held Orlando to its lowest point total since Dec. 2, 2005, and the 26-point margin matched Miami's biggest ever against the Magic. The 30.4 percent shooting effort was Orlando's worst since Nov. 3, 2003 — a span of 573 regular-season games.

"They came out, they threw an uppercut, and as a team we kind of went down," Magic center Dwight Howard said.

Oh, this was a knockout, all right.

"The guys now can't go back on this," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They've shown me what we're capable of defensively and I will hold them to this standard now in terms of the effort. The effort was great."

When the Heat acquired James this summer, Magic president of basketball operations Otis Smith uttered a now-infamous-in-Miami line: "I was surprised that he went. I thought he was, I guess, more of a competitor."

James was asked about Smith's words postgame. He tried to keep a stoic look, and failed.

"We heard everything Orlando had to say about us in the offseason," James said. "It's not like it's satisfying. I'm not relieved, because it's a long season. But they know we're here for the long haul. We know they're going to be there also, but this is a different Miami Heat team. There's only so many words to be said. At this point, the ball has to be thrown up now."

It didn't take long for the trio to provide their first highlight: Bosh grabbed the ball at one end, passed toward midcourt to James, who took one dribble and found Wade for an alley-oop dunk to help Miami take an early 22-13 lead.

"Off to the races," Bosh said.

They were just getting started.

Howard scored all 19 of his points in the first half for Orlando, then fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. Reserve Ryan Anderson scored 12 for the Magic, who got 10 from Jameer Nelson.

Miami's starters — with no points from Joel Anthony — outscored Orlando's first five 59-37.

"Overall, I thought it was just a terrible offensive execution," said Magic forward Rashard Lewis, who was 0 for 9 from the floor.

The first half was fairly back-and-forth with eight lead changes and seven ties, neither team taking control. That changed quickly coming out of intermission.

James hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, Wade connected on two more 3s within a 51-second span, and suddenly Miami's lead was 60-45. Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy called timeout, and that didn't change anything — James' jumper about a minute later pushed the lead to 20.

And that, mind you, was against an Orlando team that cruised to a 29-point win over Washington on Thursday night. For a team with no shortage of offensive options, the Magic struggled against the Heat.

"I thought our passing was horrendous tonight," Van Gundy said.

The shooting was worse.

Vince Carter played just 13 minutes, banging his head and hip on the floor while jostling for a rebound in the second quarter and finishing with four points. Orlando's starting forwards — Lewis and former Heat starter Quentin Richardson — combined for four points and missed all 14 of their field-goal tries. J.J. Redick left for a few minutes in the first half after drawing a charge against James with the right side of his face, which was cut and puffy. Redick needed seven stitches.

It was over after the third quarter, Miami's best period in all three games so far. The Heat have outscored foes 86-41 in that quarter through the season's first week. And even though the outcome was decided, Wade, James and Bosh all played some in the fourth — not to send a message, but rather to work on continuity, Spoelstra said.

"It's a good win," Spoelstra said, "but we can't get carried away."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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