Game Rap: Raptors 131, Magic 112
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Cory Joseph hit a 27-foot 3-pointer with 3:45 remaining to give the Raptors a 15-point lead. Thanks to a 36-point effort from DeRozan and a carer-high 13 assists from Joseph, the Raptors collected a 131-112 victory over the Orlando Magic for their sixth straight win.
Terrence Ross made his first return to Toronto since being traded to Orlando in exchange for Serge Ibaka at the trade deadline in February. Ross received a warm ovation from fans when he was announced during starting lineups, and then a standing ovation following a tribute video that aired during a first quarter timeout.
DeMarre Carroll missed his second consecutive game because of a sore lower back. P.J. Tucker started in his place, alongside Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan and Cory Joseph.
POINTS ON THE BOARD
Neither team showed much interest in defending to start the game on Monday. With the Raptors shooting 63 percent and the Magic shooting 62 percent, there wasn’t a lot of resistance as Terrence Ross got off to a quick start for the Magic, scoring 10 points. DeMar DeRozan, named Eastern Conference Player of the Week Monday afternoon, got off to a blistering start, scoring 18 points in the quarter on 7-for-10 shooing. After the opening 12 minutes, the Raptors led by a point, 35-34.
The Magic cooled considerably in the second quarter while the Raptors continued to roll. Toronto followed up their 35-point opening quarter with a 38-point output in the second, outscoring the Magic 38-23 as they shot 62 percent to Orlando’s 48 percent. The Raptors used a 20-2 run midway through the quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a 16-point lead as Norman Powell came off the bench in the second to provide an 11-point boost off the bench, hitting all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. Powell's efforts helped the Raptors stretch their lead to 73-57 at the halftime break. It was the second time this season the team has scored 70 points in the first half. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 23 points.
SLEEPY THIRD QUARTER
Although Toronto still shot 53 percent in the third, it was another lazy quarter defensively as the Raptors allowed the Magic to hang around rather than blowing open the game following their 16-point halftime lead. The Magic shot 54 percent in the quarter. Orlando outscored the Raptors 32-26 as they got within five before Toronto extended their lead to 10 at the end of three thanks to a 5-0 run featuring a DeMar DeRozan jumper and a Delon Wright steal and buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Raptors a 99-89 advantage. Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 10 points while Jonas Valanciunas scored eight for the Raptors in the quarter.
CLOSING IT OUT
After allowing the Magic to hang around in the third quarter, Toronto did a good job of closing out the game in the fourth. The Raptors scored the first five points of the quarter, stretching their lead back to 15 and the Magic would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way through. Orlando shot 32 percent in the fourth to Toronto’s 58 percent, as the Raptors outscored the Magic 32-23 en route to the 131-112 victory.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 36 points in 36 minutes. He started the game on fire, scoring 18 of Toronto’s 35 points in the opening quarter. DeRozan shot 13-for-21 from the floor, 1-for-1 from beyond the arc and 9-for-14 from the free throw line. He added two rebounds and three assists.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cory Joseph has mostly remained under the radar in Kyle Lowry’s absence, but his play has been integral to Toronto’s six-game winning streak. Joseph was fantastic against the Magic on Monday night, recording a career-high 13 assists as he had the first double-double of his career. Joseph paired his 13 assists with 15 points. He played 29 minutes, shooting 6-for-10 from the floor, 1-for-1 from three and 2-for-4 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds and a blocked shot as well.
THAT'S A RAP…
"It’s everything. We can’t get comfortable because we won a few games. Even tonight, we could have played a lot better. We gave up too many points. We still have to stay focused on the defensive end and let that win us games and not have to rely on scoring 130 points.”
- DeMar DeRozan on how important defence has been in this six-game win streak
BY THE #'S
59... Percent shooting for the Raptors, 49 percent for the Magic. This was a season-best for field goal percentage for Toronto.
21... Points, Toronto’s largest lead of the game.
15... Turnovers for the Raptors leading to 29 points for the Magic. Orlando turned the ball over 12 times, leading to19 points scored by Toronto.
67... Percent shooting from beyond the arc for Toronto compared to 20 percent for Orlando. The Magic shot 4-of-20 from deep while the Raptors made 10-of-15 attempts from downtown.
THEY SAID IT…
“It was brother-in-law basketball. We’ll take the win but we can’t be happy with our defensive performance, trading baskets like that. We have bigger goals in mind and if we intend on achieving them, we have to have a better mindset than we had tonight defensively. We shot 59 percent from the field. Offence is not the problem. It’s the defensive side that we did not have a focus on.”
- Dwane Casey summing up his team’s effort defensively
“It was a good win, but at the same time we didn’t do well defensively. I think they almost shot 50 percent. Our offence was there today, that’s why we got the win, but going forward defence is going to win us games and that’s what we have to focus on.”
- Cory Joseph echoing Dwane Casey’s thoughts on the defensive effort in the win
“It was great. Seems like I’ve seen so many teammates come back and get a tribute and that’s big for our organization to do that, recognize players that have been here. It’s great to see.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the fan reaction to Terrence Ross’ return
- Cory Joseph on the six-game winning streak
“It was good and it was fun besides the loss. It was good seeing that everybody appreciated what I did over the years. I was happy to come back.”
- Terrence Ross on his first time returning to Toronto since being traded to the Orlando Magic
The Charlotte Hornets come to Toronto to take on the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday at 7:30 P.M. ET.