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Haslem Scores 24 in His Final Regular-Season Game with Heat, Miami Tops Orlando 123-110



Udonis Haslem | Photo Credit:

Udonis Haslem would go out on top once again as he scored 24 points in his final regular-season game and the Miami Heat would topple the Orlando Magic, 123-110, on Sunday in the Kaseya Center.

It was Haslem’s highest-scoring game since he recorded 28 on November 14th, 2009. He checked out for the last time with 58.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, receiving the last of many standing ovations and roaring cheers that came from Miami Heat fans throughout the afternoon.

Haslem also became the first 42-year-old player to score 24 or more points in a game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was only three days past his 41st birthday when he scored at least 24 for the final time; no one had been older than that in such a game, until Sunday afternoon.

“He is the ultimate competitor, the ultimate teammate, the ultimate winner, he’s about all the right things. He also has that ‘it’ quality and he’s always had that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Haslem would shoot 9-for-17 from the floor and a career-high 3-of-7 from the three-point line or beyond. It was Haslem’s 1,026th career game and he’s only scored more points in just two of them, certainly a memorable way to cap off a 20-year career and three NBA championships.

“So many people have sacrificed for me and this is for them. This is their day as much as it is mine, this love affair that I’ve had with this organization and this city for the last 20 years is going to continue to grow,” said Haslem, who is retiring when this season (his 20th) with Miami comes to an end.

Haslem’s exact age on Sunday, 42 years and 304 days old and he is the fifth-oldest player to appear in an NBA game. Nat Hickey was 45 when he played in two games with Providence in January of 1948. Kevin Willis played until he was 44, while both Robert Parish and Vince Carter competed on the court until they were 43.

Haslem would pass Dikembe Mutumbo for fifth on the oldest-to-play list in NBA history. Mutombo was 42 years, 300 days old when he played in his NBA finale.

Haslem’s first regular-season game was on October 28th, 2003. One of the referees for that game was Scott Wall, who also was one of the referees Sunday during Haslem’s regular-season finale.

“Couldn’t have scripted this any better,” Erik Spoelstra said.

Duncan Robinson added 20-points, Victor Oladipo scored 19, Jamal Cain would drop 18 and Omer Yurtseven finished with 14 for Miami, which recorded a franchise-record 111 points off its bench on Sunday afternoon.

It was also Miami’s first home game since the arena was renamed to the Kaseya Center this season, formerly the Miami-Dade Arena, FTX Arena and American Airlines Arena during its history.

The Heat held out Jimmy Butler, who rested ahead of Tuesday’s play-in tournament matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

For the Orlando Magic, it was a tale of two halves during their 2022-2023 NBA campaign. The Magic started the season with a record of 5-20, then they would go on to finish 29-28 in their final 57 games.

“I just have to say how proud of this group I am. Being able to sustain a 5-20 record and not waver, that just shows the resiliency in this group, the willingness to learn, the willingness to take on different challenges,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.

Orlando remained in the play-in tournament race until the final few days of the season, a remarkable change from the 2021-2022 NBA season, where they finished 22-60 on the season and second-to-last in the NBA standings.

Orlando held out its star rookie and the heavy favorite for the Rookie of the Year award, Paolo Banchero, his season unfortunately came to an end due to back tightness.

“I think everyone can see where we’re headed,” Banchero said.

The Heat on the other hand, they have finished each of the past four regular seasons with a winning record. They’re one of only five teams with such an active streak in the NBA, joining the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Seventh-seed Miami will now host the eighth-seed Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, in the NBA’s play-in tournament leading up to the playoffs on Thursday. Game time is set for 7:30 P.M. EST at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida and the game will broadcast on the TNT network.



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