NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 18th (All times eastern)
Orlando Magic (3-5) at Toronto Raptors (2-7), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic head north of the border on Sunday afternoon for a matinee against the Toronto Raptors in the Air Canada Centre.
The Magic picked up their first road victory of the season Friday night in Detroit with a 110-106 win over the Pistons.
Orlando rallied at the Palace of Auburn Hills, thanks to a go-ahead hoop from J.J. Redick with less than a minute on the clock. He finished with 23 points and Orlando snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory.
"The key was making stops in the second half, because that was why we were able to get so many good looks at the offensive end," Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said.
It's been a struggle for the Magic to put the ball in the hoop. With Dwight Howard's departure in the offseason, and injuries to veteran scorers Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington, Orlando ranks 27th in scoring. The only three times the Magic cracked the century mark this season, translated into their only three victories.
Nelson returned Friday night and apparently gave an impassioned speech during a third-quarter timeout. He finished with 13 points and 10 assists in 32 minutes.
The Raptors fell Saturday afternoon to the Boston Celtics, 107-89. It was their fifth loss in the last six and ran their road record to 1-4.
On Sunday, Toronto will try to improve its home record, which isn't much better at 1-3.
Without guards Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields, both out for at least a few more weeks, the Raptors did spread the scoring around against the Celtics. Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas III led the way with 15 apiece and four other Raptors each netted 10 points.
Problem was, the Raptors couldn't really stop the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo returned after a one-game absence with a sprained ankle and tallied 20 assists. Four Celtics posted double-figures and the bench combined for 41 points.
Toronto surrendered 28 points or more in three of the four quarters Saturday.
"Until we get a rhythm defensively, and take pride in our defense, stop them with our man-to-man, and not have to play zone for such a long period of time, that's when you're going to be OK," said head coach Dwane Casey. "Our defense let us down, I thought, starting in the first quarter."
The Magic swept all three games last season and are 5-1 in their last six in Toronto.
11/18 10:37:58 ET