Culture of Hoops

Magic Blow 11-Point Lead in Loss to Raptors

Image courtesy of Luke/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Luke/Flickr.

The Orlando Magic looked to even the score against the Toronto Raptors who boast the best record in the Eastern Conference. During Jacque Vaugh’s era as the Magic’s head coach, the team has yet to beat the Raptors. That streak would stay alive as the saying goes: “Good teams find a way to win” and the Raptors did just that.

The Magic had one of their best shooting performances on the year. The Magic Outscored the Raptors for three quarters, while shooting above 50% from the field, collecting 26 assists on 39 field goal makes, and nailing a season-best 12 three-pointers.

The Magic held an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but as I stated previously, good teams find a way to win. Led by Lou Williams who scored 14 points in 16 minutes, the Raptors would go on an 11-0 run before Evan Fournier stopped the bleeding. What stands out is that Jacque Vaughn sat Elfrid Payton in favor of veteran point guard, Luke Ridnour, for the final 16 minutes of the game which saw him get torched by Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry.

Tobias Harris would make a tough driving layup to bring the Magic within 1 late in the fourth quarter. The team would get a much needed defensive stop, but Evan Fournier would come up short on the ensuing possession. After Patrick Patterson put the Raptors up 102-100 with 11.8 seconds left, the Magic would have one more shot to win the game. Tobias Harris beat the Philadelphia 76ers on a buzzer beater and looked primed to down the Raptors in the same fashion. His potential game-winner hit iron and the Magic would eventually fall 104-100 to the Raptors.

Evan Fournier led the Magic with a team-high 24 points. Tobias had a double-double of 23 points, 13 rebounds. Channing Frye had his best shooting performance of the season so far, putting up 19 points with 5-of-8 shooting from three-point land. Nikola Vucevic flirted with a triple-double (18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists)

The Orlando Magic head to the Big Apple to face Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Wednesday to complete their back-to-back.

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