Magic Musings: Orlando seconds shy of another comeback
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic simply ran out of time in a furious last-minute comeback effort against the Toronto Raptors.
After getting to within three points of the Raptors on a 3-pointer by Arron Afflalo, the Magic came up with a defensive stop and called a timeout with 8.9 seconds to set up a possible game-tying shot. But Maurice Harkless failed to inbound the ball in the required five seconds, and any hope of breaking a six-game losing streak to the Raptors went out the window.
Despite 22 points from Nikola Vucevic and a huge fourth quarter from Victor Oladipo, the Magic’s modest two-game winning streak came to an end as the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors came away with a 98-93 victory.
Vucevic made eight of his first nine shots and had 18 points and six rebounds at halftime. The problem was the rest of his teammates combined for only 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Raptors outscored the Magic 23-4 over a nine-minute stretch of the first and second quarters. The Magic’s only points during that time came on free throws.
Down 73-64 going into the fourth quarter, the Magic rode the 3-point shooting of Oladipo to tie the game. The last time the game was tied was at 80-80 on a short jump shot by Dewayne Dedmon, who had a lengthy and effective run during the second half in place of Kyle O’Quinn
Oladipo, who had 12 of his 16 points in the final 12 minutes, received the first technical foul of his NBA career late in the third quarter for reacting angrily when he thought he was fouled by Landry Fields but no call was made.
THE TURNING POINT
The Raptors outscored the Magic 11-2 over a stretch of nearly four minutes after Dedmon’s jumper, with Kyle Lowry hitting a 3-pointer and a layup.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
DeMar DeRozan, who had 24 points in his only previous meeting with the Magic this season, topped all scorers with 28.
STAT OF THE GAME
Afflalo, the Magic’s leading scorer with a 19.1-point average, went scoreless until hitting a jump shot with 5:49 to go in the third quarter and finished with only eight points.
Wednesday night vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).