30-year-old Orlandoversary: ​​Shaq records double-double in NBA debut, Anderson scores 42 wins over Heat

For the Orlando Magic, Shaquille O’Neal achieved many of the franchise’s firsts.

O’Neal would be the Magic’s No. 1 overall pick, NBA All-Star, rookie of the year and scoring champion. On this day 30 years ago, O’Neal made his debut in a 110-100 win over the Miami Heat.

Orlando was coming off a 21-61 season as it began the new campaign at Orlando Arena on November 6, 1992. The Heat had just made their first playoff appearance the previous year. Thanks to a double-double from O’Neal and a big second half, it was clear Sunshine State’s supremacy was changing in the NBA.

The hype surrounded the No. 1 overall pick, but it was the Magic’s very first pick that stole the show. Nick Anderson finished with a career-high 42 points on 17-for-26 shooting. Early on, though, Miami was in control.

The Heat led by 12 early and by a 65-56 margin at halftime. Orlando’s Dennis Scott added 27 points and shot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Scott scored seven straight late in the third quarter to tie the Magic even at 81 heading into the final period.

The fourth quarter was dominated by the Magic, who outscored the Heat 29-19 in the final period. After allowing Miami to score 65 points in the first half, Orlando limited it to just 35 in the second.

Anderson added eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in the win, but O’Neal was history. The big man finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks. After a slow start, O’Neal made his presence felt late in the first.

After smashing a Glen Rice shot, O’Neal’s first field goal came on a slam return on a Donald Royal miss. He also raced down the field for a dunk in the contest before committing a late foul. Scott Skiles added 13 points and six assists in the win.

Willie Burton finished with 23 points to lead five Miami players in double figures. Rice added 19 points in the loss. As a team, Orlando shot 59% from the field.

O’Neal would go on to make the All-Star Game in each of his four seasons with the Magic. During his 19-year NBA career, O’Neal was a two-time champion scorer, 15-time All-Star, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and league MVP. His NBA debut came in a Magic win on this day three decades ago.