ORLANDO, Fla., March 10 (Ticker)
-- Vince Carter
crumbled to the court after taking a hard elbow in the third quarter. His teammates collapsed shortly thereafter.
Carter struggled to recover after taking an elbow to the face from Pat Garrity
in the third quarter and the Toronto Raptors lost for the 14th time in 15 games, 92-79 to the Orlando Magic.
Orlando was holding a 55-52 lead when Garrity connected on a 3-pointer and in the process, elbowed a hard-charging Carter in the nose with 7:29 left in the third quarter. Carter slumped to the floor near the scorer's table and was helped off the court.
"I was looking at the basket and didn't even see him (Carter) running to me," said Garrity, who finished with 15 points. "I didn't even realize I had hit him that hard."
"He got hit in the face, a good whack," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "He was woozy as well."
After Toronto pulled within 60-59 on a floater in the lane by Morris Peterson
, the Magic closed the quarter with a 17-6 run as Tracy McGrady
hit a 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers.
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Vince Carter's face came perilously close to Pat Garrity's elbow more than once in the Magic victory.
Tony Firriolo/NBAE/Getty Images
When Carter returned with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter, the Magic held a 79-67 advantage. He was unable to spark the Raptors, who missed 10 of their first 11 shots in the fourth quarter.
"We suffered a little letdown when Vince went out," Wilkens said. "It just kind of took something away from us."
"It definitely took away some momentum," Raptors forward Jerome Williams
said. "At the same time, you cannot use that as an excuse."
A layup by Monty Williams
gave Orlando its biggest lead, 84-69, with 5:42 left.
The Raptors shot just 38 percent from the field. Carter led Toronto with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting but had just one basket after returning.
"I just wanted to try and finish the game and do what I could for them, but it wasn't much," Carter said. "I was dizzy."
McGrady, Carter's distant cousin and former teammate, scored 22 points on 7-of-24 shooting. He was coming off a career-high 50 points Friday vs. Washington.
"A couple of us didn't shoot the ball extremely well but defensively, we turned it up and we've been stressing that thought all year," McGrady said. "We've got to step it up on the defensive end and we got it done."
The Raptors snapped a franchise-tying 13-game losing streak with a win Friday night at Miami.
Orlando won three of four meetings from Toronto and is sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one-half game behind Philadelphia. Darrell Armstrong
added 14 points for the Magic. Williams started for the injured Mike Miller
, who is expected to miss three weeks with a sprained ankle, and had 10 points.
"I told Monty that he was starting and did not make a big issue of it," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "I think you have to expect them to pick it up when a player is out and they did. Every guy played hard and aggressively. It was a team win."
Orlando scored the last nine points of the first quarter to take a 24-18 lead, holding the Raptors without a basket for more than four minutes. Williams had a dunk and layup and McGrady connected on a 3-pointer to highlight the spurt.
After the Raptors scored the first six points of the second quarter, Patrick Ewing
converted a three-point play to ignite an 8-0 run for the Magic, giving them a 32-24 lead.
But Toronto responded with an 18-7 spurt as Carter scored on a rebound basket and hit a fallaway from the left side over McGrady. A jumper by Keon Clark
with 2:58 remaining capped the run, giving Toronto a 42-39 lead.
But Orlando again closed the quarter with a run of its own, scoring 10 straight points, including layups by McGrady and Darrell Armstrong, before Carter converted a layup with three seconds left. Antonio Davis
, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, hit 1-of-2 free throws to pull Toronto within 55-52 before Garrity's elbow caught Carter in the face.
Peterson replaced Carter and scored seven straight points and Clark scored on a dunk to pull the Raptors within 62-61. But Orlando scored the next nine points as McGrady hit a jumper and a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
A dunk by Armstrong with 18 seconds left in the quarter made it 77-65.
McGrady punctuated his performance with a one-handed dunk over Clark on a baseline drive, giving Orlando an 87-73 lead with 2:06 left.
"I saw the lane wide open and I just made up for all my misses," McGrady said of his latest highlight-reel dunk.