3 takeaways: Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, Hassan Whiteside stand out in Miami Heat loss at Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier, left, knocks the ball away from Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson during the first half Saturday’s preseason game. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic played an entertaining preseason game Saturday.

With both teams opening double digit leads early, the game came down to the final minutes before the Magic escaped with a 93-90 victory at the Amway Center.

Miami led 73-57 before the Magic went on a 20-3 run to set up a close fourth quarter. The Magic then pulled away after coach Erik Spoelstra emptied his bench. Miami (1-2) had runs of 22-3 and 11-0 during the game.

The Heat were led by Josh Richardson, who had 19 points. Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters chipped in with 17 each.

Here are our three takeaways from the game.

Lineup shakeup: After going with Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Rodney McGruder, James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside to start the first two games, Spoelstra shook it up Saturday. He gave Dragic a well-deserved night off and replaced him with Josh Richardson. Johnson was removed from the starting lineup and replaced at power forward by Kelly Olynyk. Waiters, McGruder and Whiteside rounded out the first five.

The results were much better, especially in the second half. At the start of the game they were on the floor as a group for 7 ½ minutes and outscored 18-12 as Orlando made 8-of-14 shots. But the third quarter was a different story. Miami went on an 11-0 run early in the quarter and by the time Spoelstra went to his bench the starting five had outscored the Magic, 17-8, to open a 71-57 lead.

Spoelstra was looking for a spark after his starters were outscored 14-8 at the start of the preseason opener against the Hawks and shot a combined 15-of-37 from the floor Thursday against the Nets despite Whiteside making 8-of-12.

Welcome back Waiters: Dion Waiters had a tough start to the preseason, making just 4-of-16 shots and missing all seven of his 3 point attempts in the first two games. The slow start had some wondering if the left ankle Waiters sprained in March and admitted was still bothering him at the start of training camp was more of a concern than Miami was letting on. But the Heat’s starting shooting guard looked like a different player against the Magic. Waiters was on the ball for most the game with Dragic taking the night off and looked energized, especially taking the ball to the rim, where he either finished or was fouled.

Waiters shot 5-of-9 and made all six of his free throws. He added three rebounds, two assists and two steals. He also had five turnovers. He and Richardson looked comfortable playing in the same backcourt as Richardson continued his strong preseason with two rebounds, four assists and four steals to go along with his 19 points. He shot 7-of-13.

Richardson keyed the 22-3 run, which came early in the second half by scoring 13 of those points, nine on three 3 pointers.

Nice work by Whiteside: Hassan Whiteside was one of the few bright spots in the first two preseason games and the Heat center continued to shine on Saturday. Whiteside’s 17 points came in 26 minutes and on 8-of-13 shooting. He added 14 rebounds. He now is averaging 16.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and shooting 60 percent (18 of 30) in the three games.

Whiteside helped the starting unit get off to a strong start in the second half by scoring the first six points, including a pair of jumpers, from 14 and 15 feet. Whiteside, one of the league’s top true centers, spends a lot of time working on his outside jumper and it appears to be paying off. Whiteside could become such a greater threat with a medium-range jumper that the opposition would be forced to respect. The only danger would be he falls in love with the shot and starts drifting too much, which would negate the advantage the Heat have over most teams with a true, dominant, low-post center. That, though, is something the coaches will make sure does not happen.

[Heat forward Jordan Mickey knows the long road between Portland, Maine, and Boston]

[Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters says peace of mind played big part in being able to focus on getting ready for season]

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