[Toronto, CAN] 34:55 minutes, 0-6 from the field, 0 points. If I told you this would be Hedo Turkoglu‘s line for last night’s game would you say that the Orlando Magic stood a chance of winning? Or what about the bench being outscored 35-20 by the Toronto Raptors (12-25)?
Well, those were the two pathetic realities that the Orlando Magic (24-14) had to deal with against the Raptors. If this is what help Dwight Howard is going to continue to receive on a day-to-day basis, no wonder he’s eying a trade! That is down right pathetic.
But anything’s possible in the Great White North – let’s see if the Magic men pulled this particular rabbit out of a touk.
The first quarter was matched bucket for bucket until the 3:38 mark, with the game tied at 17. D12 had 8 of these for the Magic. In the final 3-plus minutes though, the Magic “exploded” and outscored the Raptors by 3. After one: Magic 23, Raptors 20.
The second was more of the same story: Without Dwight this would not be a game. Also showing up for the Magic (thank god) was Ryan Anderson, who recorded 9 points in the first half of play. But overall, this is how bad the Orlando Magic were playing – at the half, they led a hapless Toronto team minus their star player by a measly 5 points, 43-38.
Leading the Magic was D12 with 16 points. Pacing the raptors was Demar Derozan with 14.
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick scored 13 points against Toronto
This game was ripe for disaster. The play of the Magic left me with the feeling that just like in Jurassic Park, the Raptors could evolve in the second half and learn how to open and close the door on the struggling Magic? And who knew that J.J. Redick would make such a good Jeff Goldblum?
Well, they evolved alright, but not enough to close the gate on this one. The last two quarters ended up nearly being a draw and the Orlando Magic dealt a heartbreaker for the hometown Toronto fans, who sensed a victory in their bird-creature claw’s grasp.
The Dinosaurs actually had the game within two points with less than 30 seconds left, but the Orlando Magic worked that clock as good as the fine fine ladies of OBT. OBT! The final score: Orlando Magic 92, Toronto Raptors 88.
Leading the Magic was Dwight Howard who carried the team on his cape with an impressive output (36 points, 13 boards). Also in double figures were Ryan Anderson (19 and 13), J.J. Redick (13 points) and Jameer Nelson with 11.
The Raptors were led by Demar DeRozan, who had a very Sam Neill-like 23. Jerryd Bayless added 15 from the bench and Aaron Gray notched a double double with 11 and 11.
The Magic play their next game tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats, by far the worst team in the NBA. They are rolling in on a 5 game slide (more than their total wins for the season 4) so don’t be too surprised after the Magic win tonight.
Note: Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy experienced mild chest discomfort in Toronto and stayed behind to receive some tests. The tests were negative, although it is not known if Stan Van will be on the sidelines against the ‘Cats.
My prediction: Orlando Magic 99, Charlotte Bobkittens 87
SF: Slight Magic
Bench: Slight Magic
By: Mike Yesenko/Sunshine Slate
Images: Orlando Magic