Playing in their first of a back-to-back at home, the Orlando Magic welcomed the reeling Toronto Raptors into the City Beautiful. The Magic kept it close once again and had a chance to tie it late, but came up short, falling to the Raptors 101-99.
Following their impressive win against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. the Magic came out flat, struggling to find any rhythm early. Toronto's active hands on the defensive end disrupted the Magic, forcing them into six opening quarter turnovers. The Magic struggled to slow down the Raptors on their defensive end, giving up 55 percent shooting in the quarter. The Magic did have success on the offensive glass, however, grabbing four of their misses and converting them into six second chance points. Grevis Vasquez led all scorers with seven off the bench for the visiting Raptors, with Aaron Gordon's six off the bench leading the Magic after 12 minutes.
After falling behind by as many as 12 in the first quarter, and 11 in the early portions of the second, the Magic began to stage their comeback. Shooting 14-of-21 from the field, coupled with improved defense allowed the Magic to have a big quarter, outscoring the Raptors by 12 to grab a two point lead heading into halftime. The Magic continued to struggle with turnovers, coughing it up four more times in the quarter to push their total to 10 for the game. The hosts also continued to get good minutes from their bench, with Evan Fournier knocking down all four of his shots in the quarter to push his total to a team high 13 for the game. DeMar DeRozan did much of the damage for the Raptors, scoring nine of their 20 in the quarter to finish the half with a game high 15.
Out of halftime, the Magic saw some inconsistent play. They struggled to get things going consistently on the offensive end, while DeRozan continued to get what he wanted seemingly on every possession. Once again the Magic struggled with turnovers, coughing it up five times leading to nine Raptor points. While the turnovers continued to pile up, the Magic continued to build a solid advantage in the painted area, out scoring Toronto 18-12 in the quarter to push their advantage to 48-36 for the game. DeRozan scored 10 of the Raptors 27 to push his total to a game high 25. Fournier's 15 continued to lead the Magic after 36 minutes.
With the game tied, the Magic had a great chance to notch their first four game winning streak since December of 2012. Much like Wednesday night, the Magic called on their young core of Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon to make big plays down the stretch. Needing buckets, Gordon gave the team two straight around the rim, and with Oladipo knocking down a key three pointer late to draw them within two. Nikola Vucevic gave them two buckets, with a Tobias Harris tip in forcing the Raptors to call a timeout. Out of that timeout, Toronto scored two buckets to tie the game up at 94 with just under a minute and a half to play.
A turnover by Fournier, coupled with a bucket from the DeRozan gave the Raptors a two point lead with under a minute to play. Vucevic got a big tip in to tie the game up before a DeRozan driving layup gave the visitors a 98-96 lead with just under 19 seconds to play. Coming out of the timeout Oladipo hit a cold blooded three to give the Magic a one point lead with just under 14 seconds remaining. Lou Williams knocked in a three out of the timeout, with Oladipo missing a floater to give the Raptors the win late.
Four Raptors finished in double figures, led by DeRozan's game high 29. Williams scored 13, including the game winner. Starting in place of the injured Amir Johnson, Tyler Hansbrough finished with 16 points and seven assists. Returning from a back injury, point guard Kyle Lowry scored 10 on the night.
Five Magic players finished in double figures, led by Oladipo's 19. Fournier added 18 off the bench, with Vucevic and Harris each finishing with 16. The rookie Gordon rounded out the group, finishing with 13.