Orlando’s defense came ready to play on Friday night, swarming the Raptors early on. Toronto started the game just 1-of-7 from the field, and finished the first quarter making just eight of their 26 attempts from the field. The Magic didn’t fare much better, making just 6-of-19 from the field, but their three made three-pointers gave them a slight early advantage.
The poor shooting continued into the second quarter for Toronto, while the Magic struggled to take care of the ball, racking up 12 opening half turnovers. Despite their inability to take care of the ball, the Magic’s stifling defense held the Raptors to just 30.6 percent shooting in the half (15-49) and blocked nine shots.
Their ability to get to the free throw line and convert there also helped, with them holding a 14-to-5 advantage in made free throws. Orlando’s lead peaked at 11 in the half before settling in at seven, 47-40 at the half.
The halftime break wasn’t good to the Magic. Out of it, Toronto began taking the game over, led by Norman Powell, who scored 19 of the Raptors 26 third quarter points. The Orlando offense was disjointed and sloppy, turning the ball over and missing shots left and right.
Toronto forced the Magic into seven third quarter turnovers, leading to 10 points. For the quarter, Orlando shot a dreadful 4-of-22 from the field, and found themselves in their biggest deficit of the night, down 66-59 after three.
Trailing by seven heading into the fourth, Orlando quickly cut the Toronto lead down to just one thanks to a quick start to the quarter by Mo Bamba. Bamba, taking advantage of Toronto playing without a traditional center, finished back-to-back dunks to get the Magic back in it. That momentum quickly ended, with Toronto going on a 14-5 run to push their lead back up to 10.
Orlando’s inability to take care of the ball — they finished the night with 24 turnovers, 12 in each half — and poor shooting cost them on a night where their defense, overall, played well. The Magic shot just 34 percent from the field, and could never find any flow offensively in the second half due to the stifling nature of Toronto’s defense, led by Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol.
Powell led all scorers with a career-high 33, 26 of which came in the second half. VanVleet added 22 points to go along with seven steals, five rebounds and four assists.
Fournier led all Magic scorers with 16, despite shooting just 3-9 from the field. Markelle Fultz added 15 as well.
The Magic (7-11) return to action at home on Sunday aginst the struggling Golden State Warriors.