The Toronto Raptors earn their fourth consecutive win, after defeating the Orlando Magic 106-103 in overtime.
As their last game of a five game road trip, the Raptors put on a show in the O2 arena for the London crowd. After losing their Nov. 6 matchup against the Magic, the Raptors seemed motivated to flip the script.
The Raptors were ahead for the majority of the game, leading by as many as 14 points. The Magic never held a lead a past the first quarter, but coach Skiles wouldn’t let his young and resilient squad abandon the game, as the Magic came back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to force OT. Despite the Magic’s efforts, the Raptors still came out on top, beating the Magic 10-7 in the extra frame.
Cage’s Report Card:
The Raptors were fortunate for their first quarter explosion, that ended with a 19-2 run in the final 4:14 minutes. Besides the OT frame, that was the only quarter the Raptors were able to win, as they watched the Orlando Magic quietly execute their offensive game plan.
The Raptors struggled to find open looks, resulting in them shooting 41 per cent from the field. Their isolation heavy offence did in fact create a lot of fouls, resulting in them getting and converting 24-31 from the charity stripe.
DeMar DeRozan had his worst performance in weeks, only scoring 13 points on 4-19 shooting from the field. Despite his shaky offensive performance, he did grab 11 rebounds, two of them being offensive, leading to extra opportunities for the Raptors. Cory Joseph was great coming off the bench, scoring 19 points on 9-11 shooting.
The Raptors defence was able to hold the Magic to under 100 points throughout regulation, which is always a great defensive accomplishment. Just like the Raptors, the Magic didn’t have the greatest shooting night, only converting 45 per cent of their shots from the field.
Unlike the Raptors, they were able to find the right looks for their key players, resulting in Victor Oladipo scoring a game-high 27 points (5-7 3PT) to go along with 6 boards, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
The Raptors defence seemed to be at its worst following Magic timeouts, as they were unable to stop coach Skiles’ perfectly executed offence. Their lack of defensive energy in the fourth quarter also allowed the Magic to score 16 points in the paint, giving them the chance to tie up the game and force OT.
The Raptors were able to win the battle on the glass 47-46, but in the most unusual way. The Raptors bigs struggled against Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris who each grabbed 11 boards.
Instead, it was the backcourt combination of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan who were cleaning up the glass tonight. The All-Star duo combined for 19 boards, helping the Raptors lock up their defensive possessions.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
Lowry did struggle to earn his team-high 24 points, shooting 5-20 from the field, and 2-9 from beyond the arc. Despite his poor shooting, it was his leadership that propelled the Raptors past the Orlando Magic.
It seemed as though Lowry was everywhere on the court, hustling in 8 boards, 7 assists, a block and a critical steal at the end of the game on Oladipo. In an offence that seems to run solely on isolation, the Raptors All-Star took the bull by the horns late in the game, scoring three critical free-throws to make sure that his team left with the W.
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