THE FACTS: The Toronto Raptors (9-19) defeated the Orlando Magic (12-14) 93-90 on Friday night, for their fifth win in a row. The last time the Raptors won five consecutive games was January 22-31, 2010. They've won their last four at home and are now 7-5 at the Air Canada Centre. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 17 points and eight rebounds, Jose Calderon added 13 points and nine assists. Again, the Raptors bench stepped up, scoring more than half of the team points and outscoring the Magic bench 50-33. Toronto reserves Terrence Ross had 13, while Alan Anderson and Amir Johnson both added 10 points each.
After shooting .292 from the field in the second quarter, the Raptors held onto a 42-39 point lead going into halftime. Trading baskets through the better part of the third, Toronto pulled away with a 13-4 run to close the quarter 71-62. The Raptors broke away with under seven minutes in the fourth quarter going on a 7-2 run. Ross scored five of those points with a 3-point shot and a break away steal on the ensuing possession, which he converted into a fast break windmill dunk evening the Raptors biggest lead of the game at 11 with at 87-76. The Magic didn't lie down, making a 10-2 run to close out the game, making it 93-90 but couldn't get the much needed three points, as Ross came away with a steal with .4 seconds on the clock.
Playing without injured forward Glen Davis, the Magic were led by Arron Afflalo's game-high 26 points and five assists, while Nikola Vucevic had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, Gustavo Ayon also had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
QUOTABLE: "We're 9-19 there's no overconfidence in that room. We still have a lot of work to do with Jonas Valanciunas going down with a broken, but we're not satisfied. We're still a work in progress, we're happy with five in a row, but we haven't gone anywhere."
-- Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey on the five-game win streak.
THE STAT: Despite the Raptors shooting a poor .407 (33-81) percent from the field, they managed to come out on top. Ironically, they shot better from the 3-point line at .421 percent (8-19). Orlando shot better at .500 percent, from a numbers standpoint, the Magic should've won this game.
TURNING POINT: With 6:16 left in the fourth quarter, Ross made a 26" 3-point shot and on Orlando's ensuing possession stole the ball for a dunk. The back-to-back plays matched the team's biggest lead of the game of 11 at 87-76. Despite the Raptors squandering the lead down the stretch, they never relinquished it.
HOT: Ross shined in the fourth quarter the rookie came alive with seven points, including 5 during a Raptors a 9-2 run, which included a 3-pointer, followed by a steal and a spectacular fast break dunk. He finished the game with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting and went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line.
NOT: With Magic starting power forward Davis out due to injury, rookie Andrew Nicholson got the start tonight. However, the Toronto native, didn't fare to well in his first career start shooting 3-for-10 from the field with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
GOOD MOVE: Afflalo locked up DeRozan for most of the night holding him to 17 points on 5-for-17 shooting from the field. Most of DeRozan's points came while Afflalo was on the bench, while he made him work on the defensive end going for 26 points.
BAD MOVE: Bad judgment and back-to-back offensive fouls by Johnson and Anderson in the last 1:30 of play during a Magic 10-2 stretch to close the game, kept the Magic in it.
NOTABLE: Toronto has held opponents under 100 points in a season-high seven straight games since December 10. The Raptors are 9-6 when holding teams under the century mark. Jonas Valanciunas left the game in the first quarter with a fractured metacarpal on his right ring finger and didn't return. The Raptors were without starters Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry, who have both missed four straight. Toronto has won two in a row against Orlando, after a 97-86 on November 18 at the Air Canada Centre.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Wednesday @ San Antonio, Friday @ New Orleans, Saturday @ Orlando. For the Magic; Sunday vs. Utah, Wednesday vs. New Orleans and Friday @ Washington.