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Raptors 98, Magic 93: Orlando's winning streak ends at two

The Magic played a sloppy brand of ball Sunday against Toronto, losing the season series against Canada's team, 3-0.

Dewayne Dedmon and Jonas Valančiūnas
Dewayne Dedmon and Jonas Valančiūnas
David Manning - USA Today Sports

The Orlando Magic tied the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 21 points in the third, but never could pull ahead. The 98-93 defeat ends Orlando's two-game win streak and gives Toronto the 3-0 season-sweep.

All-Star swingman DeMar DeRozan and young center Jonas Valančiūnas starred for the Raptors, scoring 28 and 20 points, respectively. Valančiūnas added nine rebounds to his figure.

Orlando big man Nik Vučević scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, giving him 36 double-doubles on the season. Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in a key third quarter to bring the Magic back in the game. Victor Oladipo added 16 in reserve, including 12 in the fourth quarter.

Toronto built a 19-point halftime lead with a brilliant second period. The Raptors held the Magic without a field goal for the final 2:40 of the first quarter and the first 6:23 of the second, enabling Toronto to go on a 23-7 run. Were it not for the reliability of Vučević--he tallied 18 points and eight rebounds in the first half, shooting 8-of-10 from the floor--then Orlando would have found itself in the tank. His teammates combined for 20 points on 8-of-26 shooting, with two starters in Kyle O'Quinn and Arron Afflalo going scoreless.

But Nelson led the Magic in the third, scoring 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting to spark an Orlando rally. Orlando played sharper and more energetically after intermission than it did before, and caught the Raptors off guard. The Magic won the rebounding battle by a 9-5 margin to work their way back, and shot 3-of-4 from deep, with Nelson accounting for two of those triples. Still, they never drew closer than seven points and ended the period down nine.

Their momentum carried over into the fourth period, which Orlando opened on a 12-3 run to knot the score at 76 on an Oladipo three-pointer.

Moments later, backup center Dewayne Dedmon swished a short jumper to knot the score at 80. Orlando came up empty on its next three trips, allowing Toronto to extend its lead to seven.

DeRozan drilled a three-pointer in front of Orlando's bench to put Toronto up eight with 1:03 to play, seeming to end the game. But the Raptors made some uncharacteristic errors on their next two trips: Greivis Vásquez threw a pass into the stands, after which turnover Afflalo drilled a trey to bring Orlando to within three points. On the visitors' next trip, Kyle Lowry missed a wide-open layup, Harris rebounded, and the Magic called for time.

Referee Scott Foster whistled Maurice Harkless for a five-second violation as he tried to inbound the ball, forcing the Magic to play the foul game. Harkless thought he called a timeout before the violation occurred, but Foster disagreed. DeRozan made a pair of free throws to provide the final margin.