Game Preview: Raptors at Magic
Toronto Raptors (42-17) @ Orlando Magic (18-42)
When: Wednesday, February 28th, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Amway Center
Broadcast info: TSN, TSN1050
Toronto's last meeting with the Magic came last season, with the Raptors earning a 131-112 victory behind a 36-point effort from DeMar DeRozan. The win came without Kyle Lowry who was out with a wrist injury. After a high-scoring first quarter for both teams, the Raptors held a one-point lead. They exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Orlando 38-23 to take a 73-57 lead at the half. Though the Magic would hang around in the third, Toronto was in control the rest of the way through, as Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and nine rebounds and former Raptor Cory Joseph had a 15-point, 13-assist double-double. Elfrid Payton had 22 points and nine assists to lead the Magic in the loss.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: Toronto's injury list is clear. For the Magic, Terrence Ross will be out with a sprained right MCL, non-displaced fracture of right tibial plateau. Aaron Gordon is listed as questionable with a sore left hip.
Back on track: Dwane Casey was pleased with his team's response following a disappointing home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. With the Detroit Pistons in town on Monday, the Raptors notched a dominant 123-94 victory, and didn't let up in the final phases of the game. With the team now heading on the road for the next two games, Casey wants to see the same intensity and effort from his squad.
Sunshine state: This will be Toronto's first meeting with the Orlando Magic this season. The Magic are the only team Toronto has yet to face, and the teams will have all three of their meetings in the final 23 games of the season. Dating back to 2012, the Raptors have won 15 of 18 games against Orlando.
Siakam rolling: Pascal Siakam has now scored 45 points over his previous three games. Against the Pistons, Siakam had 11 points in 24 minutes, shooting 5-for-7 from the floor, making his only three-point attempt, and added five rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots. After the game, Dwane Casey praised Siakam for his efforts. "I think he's doing a heckuva job," Casey said. "His energy is an NBA skill, I'm telling you. He sets the tone for that second unit, the speed they play with. He'll embarrass you if you don't play to his speed and his tempo."
Familiar faces: Former Raptors GM Jeff Weltman is now in Orlando, after being named team president on May 23, 2017. This will be Serge Ibaka's first game at Amway Center since being acquired from Orlando Feb. 14, 2017 in exchange for Terrence Ross, who is currently on Orlando's injured list rehabbing from a knee injury. Orlando's big man Bismack Biyombo also signed with the Magic after a breakout season in Toronto during the 2015-16 season, and D.J. Augustin played with Toronto during 2013-14.
Taking care of business: Toronto enters Wednesday's game having won eight of nine games. The Magic are in the midst of a six-game losing streak. After allowing the Bucks to get the best of them on their home floor, the Raptors want to forget about records and streaks and focus on giving their best effort. "Their record doesn't depict who they are," Dwane Casey said. "They're a very talented team. We've got to go in there with our high beams on, ready to compete for 48 minutes."