Game Preview: Raptors vs Magic
Orlando Magic (27-33) @ Toronto Raptors (44-16)
When: Sunday, February 24th, 3:30 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet (left thumb ligament) is out. For the Magic, Mo Bamba (stress fracture, left tibia), Markelle Fultz (thoracic outlet syndrome) and Timofey Mozgov (right knee surgery) are all out.
- Seven up: The Raptors come into Sunday’s game winners of their past seven games, thanks to Friday’s 120-117 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. This is the fifth time this season they’ve won at least five straight games, and Sunday’s game will be the fourth in a six-game homestand that began before the All-Star break. Toronto has won 14 of its last 15 games at Scotiabank Arena and Denver is the only NBA team with a better home record (25-4) than the Raptors (25-5).
- Recent history: This will be the third regular-season meeting between the Raptors and Magic. Though Toronto won the first meeting in Orlando, the Magic handed the Raptors one of their worst losses of the season on Dec. 28, defeating Toronto 116-87 at Amway Center. Nikola Vucevic had a 30-point, 20-rebound double-double and D.J. Augustin had 17 points as five Magic players reached double figures in the blowout win. Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 21 points in the loss and Serge Ibaka added 17 points, but the Raptors finished shooting just 30 percent from the floor in the game. While Toronto has won seven straight, the Magic enter Sunday’s game following a 110-109 loss against the Chicago Bulls, despite a 22-point effort from Evan Fournier and a 19-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist, two-steal, two block performance from Vucevic.
- Streak tied: Thanks to 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in Friday’s victory, Serge Ibaka has now scored at least 10 points in 21 consecutive games, tying a career-high set during the 2014-15 season. During this span, Ibaka is shooting 51 percent from the floor and is averaging 15.9 points. He has also recorded 16 double-doubles this season, including 11 in his last 12 games.
- Leading the way: Pascal Siakam scored 22 points in Friday’s game, adding to his line with three rebounds, six assists and two steals as well. He shot 7-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc against the Spurs. The Raptors are 7-0 through seven games in February with Siakam averaging a team-high 22 points and 7.0 rebounds this month. For the season, he is averaging 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game, way up from his 7.3 point-per-game average last season.
- Familiar faces: There’s plenty of familiarity between these two teams. Magic president Jeff Weltman went to Orlando following three seasons with Toronto’s front office, Serge Ibaka was acquired in a trade with Orlando that sent Terrence Ross and a future first-round pick to the Magic. Magic guard D.J. Augustin was also with the Raptors during the 2013-14 season.