Recap: Raptors 97, Magic 95

January 24, 2013

This season has been littered with close losses for the Magic.

However, Thursday’s defeat at the hands of DeMar DeRozan may have taken the cake in terms of heartbreaking finishes.

With four hands in his face, two belonging to Glen Davis and the other pair attached to Arron Afflalo’s outstretched arms, DeRozan pulled up and nailed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to give Toronto a 97-95 victory over Orlando.

“Glen and Arron were both there and that’s part of basketball,” said Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn. “Great shot and he made it.”

It’s been a difficult stretch for the Magic, who have dropped eight of their last 17 games by four points or less (2-15 overall) in the midst of injuries to several key players. Davis (shoulder), Jameer Nelson (hip), E’Twaun Moore (elbow), Gustavo Ayon (elbow) and others have all missed time recently with ailments.

“I just think the basketball gods are against us right now,” J.J. Redick said. “They’ve turned their backs on us. We need to get back in their good graces.”

In spite of another tight defeat, the Magic did take some steps in the right direction. Vaughn challenged his team prior to the game to make strides on the defensive end. His squad responded.

“I thought there were multiple times throughout the course of the game where we got multiple stops in a row and that’s what we want to focus on, is being able to get stops on demand,” Vaughn explained. “We were able to do that multiple times throughout the course of the night and that’s the basketball we need to see every night.”

“The reality is that when we lose, the responsibility is on the vets. You can’t put any blame on Moe Harkless for losing 15 out of 17 or whatever it is right now. You know, the ownership is on us to be better.” - Magic guard J.J. Redick.
This Statline of the Night gets split between Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic. Nelson filled out the statsheet with 14 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Vucevic, on the other hand, tallied team highs in both points (19) and boards (14) without seeing any action in the fourth quarter.
Photo courtesy of Fernando Medina. | Photo Gallery

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