March 5, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) goes up for a basket as Toronto Raptors center Aaron Gray (34) defends at the Air Canada Centre. Orlando defeated Toronto 92-88. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE
Toronto, who came into the game with a 12-26 record, and playing without their best player Andrea Bargnani who is out indefinitely, gave the Magic quite a battle throughout the game. It wasn't until J.J. Redick's two free throws with five seconds remaining that the Magic were finally able to put the game away with the 92-88 victory. Redick also hit a key three pointer with 9 seconds left to put the Magic up 5 points.
C Dwight Howard had a monster night in the low post with 36 points on 16 of 20 shooting, along with 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. Howard struggled at the free throw line, though, shooting just 4 of 14. F Ryan Anderson also added a double-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds despite sitting the last 7 1/2 minutes of the game and shooting 1 for 5 on threes. Redick added 13 points off the bench, including 3 of 4 from long range. PG Jameer Nelson added 11 points, 6 assists, but with 5 turnovers. The Raptors were led by SG Demar DeRozan with 23 points but shot just 9 of 22. F James Johnson scored 13 points with 7 rebounds, 7 assists. G Jerryd Bayless was effective off the Raptors' bench, scoring 15 points, along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists.
The Magic were able to survive poor scoring nights from F Hedo Turkoglu and G Jason Richardson. Turkoglu failed to score in 34 minutes while shooting 0 for 6, but did a much better job with his passing and ball-handling, contributing 9 assists while committing just 1 turnover. J-Rich scored just 6 points on 2 of 10 shooting, including 1 of 7 on threes. The Magic also survived a bad night at the free throw line, as they made just 13 of 28 free throws.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
Neither team had more than a three-point lead in the first quarter, with the Magic, on 50% shooting, leading 23-20 after one. Howard had 10 points on 5 of 7 from the floor with 7 rebounds. In the second quarter, Anderson stepped up, scoring all 9 of his first half points. The Magic maintained their lead, and led by as much as 36-28 before the Raptors would cut into their deficit to pull within 43-38 at the half. The Magic shot 37.5% in the second quarter, and 42.3% for the half, while Toronto ended the half shooting 42.5%. Howard had 16 points and 7 boards at the half on 8 of 11 shooting, with Anderson adding 11 rebounds to his 9 points. DeRozan led the Raptors with 14 points.
The Magic led 49-42 in the third quarter after a Howard bucket with 9:44 remaining, but then the Magic went scoreless for over 4 minutes as Toronto scored 9 points in a row to take back the lead 51-49. Jameer Nelson then asserted himself with a three-pointer and a layup along with an assist on a Howard bucket as the Magic regained the lead 61-55. The Magic led after three quarters 68-63, as Howard led the way with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
The stubborn Raptors continued to make things tough on the Magic in the final quarter, coming to within 74-72 after a Linas Kleiza bucket with 8:26 remaining. Anderson left the game for the Magic with 7:33 remaining, and did not return because of the small Raptors' lineup. A Nelson three-pointer with just under 6 minutes remaining put the Magic back up 80-75, only to see Jerryd Bayless make a three-pointer of his own to get the Raptors back within two. The Magic then went on a 7-0 run as they had their largest lead of the game at 87-78 with just under three minutes remaining. Toronto still would not go away, holding the Magic scoreless for over two minutes as they cut the Magic lead to 87-85 with 31 seconds remaining. Redick then came through in the clutch to finally put the Raptors away.
Other game notes:
-The 36 points from Howard was the tenth time in his career he has scored at least that many points in a game.
-The Magic's pick-and-roll game was a big factor, as they had 25 assists on 35 field goals.
-Magic reserve Glen Davis scored 4 points along with 6 rebounds in 20 minutes.
Here is the game box score.