NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 24th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (15-27) at Orlando Magic (14-27), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors will have to shake off Wednesday
night's overtime loss to the defending champion Miami Heat pretty quickly as
they finish off a quick Florida trip Thursday night versus the Orlando Magic.
The Raptors fell in South Beach, 123-116, in extra time. Seven Raptors scored
in double figures and Toronto took one of the NBA's best 53 minutes before
"I cannot fault our guys' effort," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "They
fought, they scrapped, they played with their hearts and they took one of the
best teams in the NBA to the limit. That's what I said before the game. This
game is about respect. This game's about going out there and not letting teams
think they're going to come out and get their numbers against you. And our
The Raptors couldn't contain LeBron James or Dwyane Wade on Wednesday. No
shame in that as James had a 20-footer to win it in regulation clank off the
James went for a triple-double and Wade scored 25, but the Raptors did it with
balance. Alan Anderson led the way for Toronto with 20, but Ed Davis, Amir
Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Jose Calderon, Terrance Ross and Kyle Lowry all
cracked the 10-point mark.
The Raptors only committed nine turnovers and shot 50 percent against the
Heat, but the defending champs shot almost 55 percent and outrebounded
The Magic have been dreadful for almost six weeks. They are 2-14 since Dec. 21
and have lost three in a row, including home losses to the Charlotte Bobcats
and Dallas Mavericks.
The most recent setback during this slide came Tuesday night in Detroit. The
Magic fell to the Pistons, 105-90, and left their leader a little shell-
"I'm a little surprised," admitted head coach Jacque Vaughn. "I was really
excited and enthused by our approach tonight. Just not the results we were
Vaughn changed the starting lineup, inserting J.J. Redick as the first-line
shooting guard. He shot 9-for-10 and 5-for-6 from the 3-point line for a game-
high 26 points.
DeQuan Jones fell out of the starting lineup and Arron Afflalo moved from the
two-guard to small-forward position. That move did not pay off as Afflalo went
scoreless in almost 38 minutes. Afflalo, the Magic's leading scorer at 17.0
ppg, didn't even attempt a field goal until the third quarter.
"Having four veterans on the floor and Nik (Vucevic), who's been playing
extremely well for us, would be to our advantage," said Vaughn.
The Raptors, who have lost five of their last six, have won all three meetings
with the Magic this season, including a 123-88 drubbing in Orlando on Dec. 29.
01/24 10:23:54 ET