Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic
Thursday, March 1, 2018
You know…I’ve never been to Disney World, but I hear it’s the “most magical place on earth”. I’m sure the Orlando Magic were hoping Mickey Mouse would give them a little good luck for tonight’s game against the Raptors. The Magic were looking to try and end their 6 game losing streak…maybe next game, Mickey.
Who’s taller? Valanciunas or Vucevic? Well if we were to decide solely on who won the jump ball at tip off, I would say JV. The first quarter got off to a great start with both the Magic and the Raptors putting up quick buckets. One of those buckets was from the “Lithuanian Lighting” himself, Jonas Valancuinas, draining a three and improving his 3-pt percentage to 46%. Jonas finished the game with 10pts, 5reb & 1ast while the man himself, Kyle Lowry, finished with 17pts, 7reb & 11ast.
With 1:40 to play in the 1st, Jakob Poeltl gets the crowd on their feet with a fancy flush followed by Pascal Siakam with a lay up and C.J Miles with not only one 3-pt shot but two! One bucket after another. This is where it seems the Raptors were catching speed. Raps ahead by 5pts at the break.
This game was very tight in the 2nd and a lot closer throughout the game than most would have predicted. Bismack Biyombo of the Orlando Magic with the steal tying the game at 52pts. This Magic team isn’t the same team that the Raptors last played. Bismack finished the game with 6pts, 11reb, & 3ast. A turnover by the Raptors late in the 2nd led to Mario Henzonja showing us he can jump with a reverse dunk - putting them within 1pt and with both teams putting up a 64.1 FG%.
Raptors up 6pts at the half, 69-63.
For a team that is 24.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors, I was truly impressed by the Magic playing as hard as they did and for keeping the lead as close as it was. Jonathan Simmons knocked down the contested three-pointer over Kyle Lowry to take the lead at 7:59 in the 3rd quarter - putting the Magic up by 1pt. Orlando outscored Toronto in the 3rd quarter and hoped to continue to outscore them in the 4th, but Toronto was just too good.
Around the 4:00 minute mark in the last frame, it seemed like the Raptors all of a sudden realized they were first in the Eastern Conference and with Boston playing tonight, they needed to win to STAY first. They had their largest lead in the game at 12pts. To end with a bang, Pascal Siakam stole the ball and finished with a beautiful one handed alley-oop contributing to his 14pts, 6reb & 4ast game.
*Fun Fact: If the Raptors had won by 14pts in tonight’s game, they would have had the greatest point differential in NBA history in the month of February (Phoenix Suns currently hold first place with 15.33).
This was an important win for the Raptors as they head to Washington on Friday night. It’s a 7:30pm tip off for a tough game vs Walls’ Wizards.
Raptors 117-104 Magic