Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu fires a jump-shot during his Magic's 102-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. Turkoglu lead the Magic with 24 points and 8 assists.
Photo by Fernando Medina, NBAE/Getty Images
The Magic managed to defeat the Raptors fairly convincingly, 102-87, on Tuesday night despite only grabbing two offensive boards and having their bench outscored 40-20. The reason? Timely scoring from Dwight Howard and from Hedo Turkoglu, an efficient offensive game from Rashard Lewis, and an opponent playing without its best player.
Neither team played inspired ball in the first half, but the Magic put it together in the early stages of the fourth quarter, letting T.J. Ford single-handedly grind his team's offense to a halt. Ford took the Raptors' first eight shots in the final frame, scoring 13 points in that span. However, he also committed 4 turnovers, which the Magic converted into eight points. By the time any other Raptor did anything offensively in the fourth quarter, Toronto trailed by 9 points, and never got closer than 7 the rest of the way.
Hedo Turkoglu came through in the fourth quarter once again, scoring 7 points, but it was Dwight Howard who went berserk. He made all 7 of his shots in the quarter, most of them dunks. Toronto was helpless to stop Dwight Without Chris Bosh to force him further away from the basket.
Four big surprises this evening:
- The Magic made Jose Calderon look ordinary. Calderon finished with only three assists, which is the second-lowest total he's had as a starter this season. Certainly, we can attribute that low total to the Raptors' anemic shooting, but certainly we should give some credit to Carlos Arroyo and Jameer Nelson for pestering Calderon.
- Marcin Gortat played and J.J. Redick didn't. Marcin played in his second straight game, recording a rebound in 37 seconds. Earlier today, it appeared as though J.J. would finally get his chance to shine, but Keith Bogans recovered from the abdominal strain that might have kept him out and played 25 solid minutes, making two three-pointers in that span. The starter, Maurice Evans, played 26 minutes and did nothing with them: 2 points (1-of-7 shooting). That poor showing, coupled with Marcin's stint, begs the question: What does J.J. have to do to get into the rotation?!
- The Raptors shot poorly, especially from three-point range. Toronto boasts the league's sixth-best effective field goal percentage (.514), but posted an effective field goal percentage of just .420 this evening. Without Chris Bosh drawing double-teams, the Raptors weren't getting the wide-open looks to which they are accustomed.
- Rashard Lewis is coming around: Quietly, Rashard Lewis is shredding opposing defenses. He's scored 104 points on just 68 shots (!) in our past 5 games. During that span, we're 4-1.
No rest for the weary for us, though. We're off to Washington to see the Wizards tomorrow night. They'll be without the services of their two best players: Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. A loss tomorrow night will be inexcusable. For what it's worth, Denver's Carmelo Anthony dropped 49 points (on 25 shots!) on the Wizards last month. Might Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu have a similarly impressive outing tomorrow night? One can only hope, but coming away with a win is clearly a higher priority.