The Raptors used a solid second-quarter effort to pull within six points of the Magic at halftime, but the home side regrouped and regained control of the game for good after the break.
The third quarter opened with a Raptors bucket but their offence, defence and rebounding all disappeared from there. Dwight Howard went on to dominate the frame and with the Magic up 16 points to start the fourth, the starters soon took a seat and the Raptors deficit snowballed.
Dwight Howard was a force with 31 points and 19 rebounds for his fourth effort of at least 30 and 15 this season. He seized control of the game with 17 and seven in the third on a series of easy post-ups and alley oops.
"I thought that Dwight was dominant tonight," said Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. "They decided that they were going to play him one-on-one. There wasn’t a whole lot of balance tonight, the ball just kept going to Dwight, but I mean if they’re going to give you lay-ups at the basket you’re not really going to look for anything else."
Not an easy decision, but Julian Wright gets the nod for his latest energetic performance at both ends of the floor. Another game where he doesn't wow you with his line, but did a lot of those little things -- especially in the second quarter -- that gave the Raptors some life.
On a night where the Raptors were hammered on the glass, you've also got to hand it to Wright for a double-digit rebounding effort, including five offensive boards.
"I think we just wore down and the start of the second half we had two, three wide open shots and we missed those. We got two stops at the other end, but Dwight (Howard) was just too much for us on the glass tonight, we couldn’t keep him off the glass offensively or defensively. And all the sudden our strategy of trying to foul him backfires when he makes 6-of-7 in the second half. So, by the time we get to the fourth quarter, it was over."
- Jay Triano, on the second half
Sat., Jan. 22 @ Miami
7:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors try and end their road trip on a winning note when they move on to Miami for another visit with the Heat. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh recently sidelined with ankle sprains, the Heat have dropped four straight. James is back, but Bosh remains questionable to go against his former team. The Raps fell 109-100 in Miami back on Nov. 13.
|20-13||Fast break points favouring the Magic|
|56-36||Points in the paint totals favouring the Magic|
|24-4||Second-chance points favouring the Magic|
|60-44||Rebounding edge for the Magic|
|35.4||Shooting percentage for the Raptors|
|"We are playing bad. After every game it seems like we played worse. We have to find a way to stop this and play better."|
- Andrea Bargnani, on the Raptors' current slide
|"There were a lot of good things tonight and it feels good to have one like this after having a lot of close games in a row."|
- Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy on the win
|"Once you focus on Dwight, the next thing you know they are reigning threes on you."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on the Magic's offence