Magic musings: Offense struggles with ball movement vs. Raptors

BY foxsports • December 15, 2014

The Orlando Magic's ability to move the basketball was almost as important Saturday night in defeating the Atlanta Hawks as Tobias Harris' game-winning jump shot.

That same basic fundamental was missing Monday night at Toronto.

After shooting almost 60 percent from the floor in the first half against the Raptors, the Magic labored to get anything going over the final two quarters and ended up losing 95-82. It was their 10th loss in a row to the Raptors dating back to November 2012 and third in as many meetings this season.

The Magic led 52-44 at halftime after ending the quarter on a 16-2 run, sparked to some extent by a vicious elbow that Evan Fournier took from Raptors backup center Tyler Hansbrough. Fournier was knocked to the floor bleeding from a lacerated lip that required several stitches to close.

While his return was first listed as questionable, he came back in with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter. But the Raptors had gone ahead by then and were up 71-65 at the end of the quarter.

In the weekend win over the Hawks, the Magic recorded 26 assists on 37 baskets. Orlando dished out only 13 assists on 36 field goals while committing 19 turnovers against a team that was coming off an overtime victory Sunday at New York.

Harris led the Magic with 18 points, but only four of those came after halftime. Ben Gordon had his best game since opening week with 16 points. He started the second half in place of Fournier, who was held to 11 points but maintained his streak of making at least one 3-point field goal in every game since joining the Magic.

THE TURNING POINT

The Magic trailed 74-72 early in the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Channing Frye. But the Raptors went on a 12-0 run over the next 2.5 minutes and were never threatened thereafter.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Lou Williams, who established a reputation as a Magic killer earlier in his career with Philadelphia and Atlanta, scored a team-high 18 points off Toronto's bench.

STAT OF THE GAME

The Magic went 23 of 39 from the floor in the first half but only 13 of 34 in a second half when they were held to 30 points, the low for any half by them this season.

WHAT'S NEXT

7:30 p.m., Wednesday at Boston

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.



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