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Raptors 105, Magic 100: Orlando goes down in a barrage of free throws

The Magic offense once again fell flat in the fourth quarter, shooting 38% and giving up a 10-0 run down the stretch

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic continued their post All-Star slide on Sunday with a 100-105 loss to the Totonto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Though the Magic kept it close, they were ultimately buried by sloppy turnovers and fouls; The Raptors turned 14 turnovers into 26 points, and shot 29-of-45 from the line. Toronto Guard DeMar DeRozan was the recipient of both, scoring 25 points and going 13-16 from the line in the win.

After scoring just three points in the second half, it would be DeRozan that sealed the Magic’s fate – burying a three-point play with less than a minute left to extend the Raptors’ lead to four. His backcourt partner Kyle Lowry would then force a turnover on Victor Oladipo, ultimately putting the game out of reach.

The All-Star tandem of DeRozan and Lowry would have an odd night collectively, shooting a combined 11-of-31 but scoring 43 points thanks to their combined 26 free throw attempts.

After a hard-fought contest against the Cavs on Friday, the Magic came out of the gate a bit out of sync. The team had seven turnovers in the first quarter alone, which Toronto turned into 14 points. The defensive end was equally frustrating for Orlando, as the Raptors shot 23 free throws in the first half. DeRozan would shoot 12 before halftime, more than any single Magic opponent this season. Despite all of this, the Magic were able to escape the first quarter with a five point deficit and regroup in the next period.

In the second quarter, the Magic found their stride offensively and grabbed their first lead of the game. The team shot 57% in the quarter with nine assists and only one turnover. Victor Oladipo would lead the Magic to a two-point halftime lead behind his nine points in the quarter.

After each team took a turn dominating the first two quarters, the third would end in a 27-27 stalemate. Both teams would trade buckets, with Louis Scola and Victor Oladipo pacing their respective teams, giving the Magic a two-point lead heading into the final period.

The fourth quarter was a homecoming of sorts for Magic forward Andrew Nicholson, who got an extended run thanks to the team’s foul trouble. The Toronto native would score nine points in the quarter, and total 15 on the day.

Nicholson would be the only bright spot in the Magic’s fourth quarter effort, as the rest of the team would combine for nine points. After a game full of fluid ball movement and solid shooting, Orlando would register only three assists and shoot 38% in the final quarter. While the Magic went on a 1-of-10 shooting drought, the Raptors went on a 10-0 run, locking up the game.

Both teams would take the court without their starting centers, causing a small increase in the pace of play. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic missed his eighth straight game with a groin injury, and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas dressed by did not play in his fifth straight absence.

Victor Oladipo backed up his career-high 45 points on Friday with a 21-point performance, going 9-of-19 from the floor. He would chip in across the board with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. He would, however, be held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

"It’s a little frustrating," said Oladipo when asked about the team’s struggles closing out games, "at the end of the day you just gotta keep working, man. Keep learning, keep growing, and that’s what I’m trying to do."

The Magic (29-40) will continue their east coast road trip with a visit to Boston tomorrow. They will then travel to Detroit on Wednesday and Miami on Friday before returning to the Amway Center to take on the Bulls.