Magic's road trip begins on sour note with loss to Raptors
FEB 23, 2014 8:56p ET
TORONTO (AP) -- With their leading scorer stuck at home in Florida resting a sprained right ankle, the Orlando Magic slumped to their 15th straight road loss Sunday.
They'll be without Arron Afflalo again when they visit Washington on Tuesday, hoping to avoid matching a franchise record with a 16th straight road defeat.
The Magic have not won away from home since beating the Bulls in Chicago on Dec. 16. They are within one loss of matching the longest road skid in franchise history, 16 games between Jan. 27 and March 21, 2006.
"We need to get a win on the road," said Tobias Harris, who led Orlando with 28 points. "We just have to continue to work and fight for one."
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said snapping the lengthy slump will require mental strength.
"It's two things, it's focus and discipline, the discipline to continue to do the right thing over and over again," Vaughn said. "It's almost as if something's going to happen to me if I let my teammates down on this play, and you continue that mindset throughout the course of the game. No commas, no pauses in between, it's a run-on sentence. You just keep doing it over and over again."
For now, however, the only thing running on is Orlando's rotten road performances. The Magic trailed 44-41 at halftime in this one, but were outscored 36-24 in the third quarter and never challenged again.
"In the first half you could see a little bit more excitement, but when we got down it was tough," Harris said. "That's a game we could win. We didn't pull it out, but that's a winnable game for us."
Afflalo did not travel to Toronto after spraining his right ankle in Friday's 129-121 double-overtime victory over New York. Maurice Harkless started for Orlando.
Vaughn confirmed that Afflalo will not be available for Tuesday's game against the Wizards, but refused to say whether the veteran swingman might return for Wednesday's game at Philadelphia.
E'Twaun Moore had 16 points as the Magic opened a four game trip with their fourth loss in five games. Nikola Vucevic scored 11 points and Kyle O'Quinn had 10. "We've just got to stay consistent through the whole game," Moore said. "We've been playing in spurts on the road. We'll play good for a quarter, good for a couple of minutes. We've just got to put a full game together."
Jameer Nelson scored nine points to bring his career total to 8,019, moving past Shaquille O'Neal into fourth place on Orlando's career list.
"It's an honor to me and a tribute to the organization as well for me being here so long," said Nelson, who has spent his entire 10-year career in Orlando.
Terrence Ross scored 16 for the Raptors and Amir Johnson had 12 points and eight rebounds before leaving with a sprained right ankle. Toronto improved to 12-3 in its past 15 home games and moved six games above .500 for the first time since Feb 24, 2010, when it also was 31-25.
Johnson left at 5:41 of the third after rolling his ankle in a collision with Victor Oladipo. Johnson missed games on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12 with a sore right ankle, then came off the bench in Toronto's first two games following the All-Star break.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Johnson's injury didn't appear as serious as the one that sidelined him earlier this month.
"He got kicked in that spot, he didn't turn it," Casey said. "We'll see how he feels."
Toronto's next game is at Cleveland on Tuesday.
Harris had 10 points in the first quarter, but didn't score in the final 5:50 as Toronto closed the quarter on an 11-2 run to lead 19-14 after one.
Greivis Vasquez scored eight points in the second quarter and Johnson had six as the Raptors led 44-41 at halftime, but Casey wasn't too pleased.
"I think I've said this multiple times: we set basketball back 15 years in the first half," Casey said.
That changed after the intermission, when the Raptors took control by making 12 of 14 field goal attempts in the third quarter. Lowry made all five of his shots to score 17 points as Toronto outscored Orlando 36-24 to take an 80-65 lead into the fourth.
"We started setting better screens," Casey said. "We were more assertive coming off pick-and-rolls, attacking."
NOTES: After Washington and Philadelphia, the Magic close out this four-game trip by visiting Miami on March 1. ... DeRozan had four assists, raising his season total to a career-high 205. ... The Raptors won despite turning the ball over 24 times to Orlando's nine. ... The Magic are 14-15 at home this season. ... Orlando has lost nine of its past 16 regular-season meetings with the Raptors. ... Toronto G Nando DeColo, acquired from San Antonio on Thursday, made his Raptors debut in the fourth quarter. ... Toronto Maple Leafs players Jonathan Bernier and Troy Bodie attended the game.