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This time, Orlando finally responded with its play.

On one stretch late in the fourth quarter, Nelson made back-to-back shots and then came up with one of his best defensive plays of the year. With James and Wade on a 2-on-1 break, Nelson jumped up and swatted James‘ alley-oop pass to Wade, Nelson drove back down and found Redick for a jumper that put Orlando ahead 95-89.

Nelson also made some big free throws in the final minutes to put away the game. But he was ejected with 39 seconds remaining after receiving his second technical foul of the game, the last for taunting Eddie House.

Not that it mattered.

The Magic had already put their stamp on this one.

“We talked in the huddle that we had worked so hard to win this game and to not let that lead we had built completely slip away,” said Redick, who started in place of an injured Vince Carter. “It was a big win.”

The Heat, hardly resembling a championship contender, went down 12 points in the first half but managed to keep it close. James was showered with boos — reaching a decibel usually reserved only for Shaquille O’Neal in Orlando — every time he touched the ball, but he and Wade came on strong late to push the Heat ahead 88-87 midway through the fourth quarter.

Then it all fell apart — again.

“We’re going through a tough time right now,” Spoelstra said. “There’s no question about it. The guys want to do it. They want to make it right. Guys are competing, and we just have to go through the process.”

The win was huge in more ways than one for the Magic.

They’ve put the Heat in an early hole deeper than they could’ve ever imagined, and Miami also has several other concerns — most notably injuries.

Bosh left the game briefly in the first quarter with back spasms and never looked the same; Udonis Haslem’s season may be over after surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his left foot; Mike Miller isn’t expected back until after Christmas because of a broken thumb and ligament damage; Wade has been playing through a sprained left wrist; James has been dealing with a shin problem for a couple weeks; and Juwan Howard is playing with a broken nose.

“It will eventually” turn around, Wade said. “Right now it’s not. I wish I had the answer to it.”

NOTES: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in the crowd. … The Heat and Magic don’t play again until Feb. 3 in Orlando. … The Heat and Magic don’t play again until Feb. 3 in Orlando.