By John Denton
January 24, 2013
ORLANDO – Having become almost numb now to all of the close losses that the Orlando Magic have suffered of late, shooting guard J.J. Redick said he wasn’t even surprised when Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan drilled a fall-away, contested 20-foot prayer of a shot at the buzzer on Thursday night.
Such is life these days for the hard-luck, snake-bitten Orlando Magic, who lost 97-95 when DeRozan’s prayer was answered at the horn to stun the Amway Center crowd and leave the home team wondering where it all has gone wrong.
``I just think the basketball gods are against us right now,’’ Redick said somewhat in jest following another gut-punch type of loss. ``They’ve turned their backs on us and we need to get back in their good graces.’’
Orlando (14-28) lost for a fourth straight time and for the fourth time this season to Toronto (16-27). Remarkably, it was the Magic’s eighth consecutive loss to a team with a losing record.
And for a 10th time this season the Magic were involved in a game decided by five points or less, seven of which have been defeats. In time, Magic forward Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis said, the Magic will figure out a way to win these type of nail-biting finishes. Then, and only then, will they be able to get the season back on track, Davis added.
``You think about all of the close games that we’ve lost, and soon those games are going to come back to us,’’ said Davis, who had a hand squarely in DeRozan’s face as he fired in the winner from just in front of the Magic bench. ``I don’t know when or where, but it will come before the season is over with. Then, we’re going to make our push.’’
Six Magic players scored in double figures, led by the 19 points and 14 rebounds from center Nikola Vucevic, who didn’t play in the fourth quarter as both teams went to small lineups. Arron Afflalo had 16 points after going scoreless on Tuesday, while Davis chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds. Jameer Nelson had 14 points and 11 asissts, while Redick scored 14 points and had a game-tying four-point play with 53 seconds to play.
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