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Raptors Fall To Magic In Latest Narrow Defeat

Related: Box Score | Photo Gallery | Devlin & Davis
Top Plays: Magloire With The Slam | Johnson Blocks Big Baby | DeMar's Spinning Floater
Post Game: Highlights | Casey | DeRozan | Gray

March 5, 2012

TORONTO (CP) Orlando big man Dwight Howard had the ball early and often Monday night, but it was teammate J.J. Redick who sealed Toronto's fate in the game's final seconds.

Redick's three-point dagger with less than 10 seconds helped the Magic to a 92-88 win over the Toronto Raptors.

``(Jason Richardson) made a great play to get the ball quickly to me,'' said Redick. ``I knew we didn't have a lot of time on the clock, so I just caught it and let it go.''

Howard had 36 points and 13 rebounds and two blocks for his 31st double-double.

Howard had the highlight of the night when he finished off a perfectly-timed alley-oop pass from Redick with a monster two-handed jam in the third quarter.

Redick finished 3-for-4 from three-point range picking up 13 points and six assists.

``Our perimeter guys all shot the ball very poorly tonight,'' said Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. ``Trying to decide who you're going to have down there as the last man wasn't an easy call, but (Redick) knocked in a big one right then.''

DeMar DeRozan had 23 points for the Raptors (12-26), who were coming off a victory over Golden State on Sunday.

``It's definitely frustrating, especially knowing how many games we had like that this season that we definitely could've won,'' said DeRozan. ``We just got to close out teams especially against tough teams like the Orlando Magic.''

  RAPTORS REMARKS

"I feel for our guys because they are putting themselves in position to win. The experience factor you can’t rush it, you can’t teach it, you can’t give it to them. I see fight every night."
-- Dwane Casey, on the players' frustration
"We just have to learn from this game. Obviously the three point shot is their strength and that was our focus tonight. We have to do a better job, 16-for-20 from the floor is tough."
-- Aaron Gray, on Dwight Howard's big night
"I’m going out there, being aggressive and not settling as much as I was early in the season. I’m trying to be aggressive and get to the free throw line."
-- DeMar DeRozan, on his performance

The loss dropped the Raptors to 0-9 at home this season when trailing after three quarters.

Aaron Gray added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto, picking up his second double-double of the season.

Ryan Anderson had 19 points and 13 boards for the Magic (25-14).

Jose Calderon drained a three from the top of the arc with just over six seconds remaining to cut Orlando's lead to two, but Redick made two free throws on the next possession to put the Magic back up by four.

``I feel for our guys because they're putting themselves in a position to win,'' said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. ``The experience factor, you can't rush it, you can't teach it, you can't give it to them.

``I see fight every night.''

Ex-Raptor Hedo Turkoglu, who came in averaging 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, was booed all night by the 15,392 in attendance at Air Canada Centre. Turkoglu finished with no points and nine assists.

  BY THE NUMBERS

0-9 Raptors record when trailing after 3 quarters this season
50-38 Points in the paint favouring the Magic
6 Fast break points allowed by the Raptors over last two games
7 Assists for James Johnson, matching a career-high
.800 Free throw shooting percentage for the Raptors (16/20 FTM/A)

After the Magic opened an eight point lead in the second quarter, DeRozan picked up six points to cut the lead to just two. However, Redick drained a 25-foot three-pointer giving Orlando a five-point lead at the break.

Howard had four dunks, many of the highlight variety, leading the way for the Magic in the first quarter with 10 points, giving Orlando the early three-point lead.

Orlando won the only other meeting between the two teams _ 102-96 thanks to a late 16-0 run on New Year's Day.

The two teams wrap-up the season series on March 26 in Toronto.

Notes: Amir Johnson missed Monday's game with a sore right knee suffered in Sunday night's win over Golden State. ... Raptors continue their four-game home stand Wednesday when the Houston Rockets visit. ... Monday's game was just the tenth time in franchise history, and second time this season, the Raptors played back-to-back home games. Toronto lost to New York and San Antonio on consecutive nights in late January.