NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 30th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (41-31) at Orlando Magic (21-52), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic have opened this homestand with back-
to-back victories and will try to go 3-0 Sunday evening when they host the
The Magic started the residency with a 10-point win over the Portland Trail
Blazers on Tuesday, then earned an overtime victory Friday over the Charlotte
Arron Afflalo drilled a game-tying 3-pointer late in regulation and Jameer
Nelson netted five points in overtime, as the Magic came from behind to beat
the Bobcats, 110-105, at Amway Center.
Orlando trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and didn't take its
first lead until Nikola Vucevic knocked down back-to-back buckets for a 91-89
edge with 4:46 remaining.
In overtime, Charlotte's Kemba Walker hit a hook shot with 2:41 left for a
101-99 lead, but Nelson drilled a trey at the other end to give Orlando the
lead for good, as the Magic held the Bobcats to just one field goal the rest
of the way.
Vucevic posted 24 points and a season-high 23 rebounds, while Afflalo finished
with 17 points for the Magic. Nelson finished with 11, followed by 15 from
Tobias Harris, 14 out of Victor Oladipo and 13 from Kyle O'Quinn.
"Tonight was an impressive win for us after kind of a lackluster start,"
Afflalo said. "I do think it's important that these last nine games or so that
we build some momentum, build some better habits just in case the core group
of guys are back (next year)."
The Raptors have won two straight and clinched a playoff berth for the first
time since the 2007-08 season. They are 2 1/2 games in front of the Brooklyn
Nets in the race for the Atlantic Division title.
"We are excited about it. If you told me in year one that we would be knocking
on the door of the playoffs in a rebuilding situation, I take my hat off to
all the guys who have come through here. DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson
especially who have been here through it all," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
On Friday, the Raptors completed a home-and-home sweep of the Boston Celtics
with a 105-103 victory in Toronto.
Johnson's putback layup with 7.1 seconds left proved to be the difference for
DeRozan scored 30 points and Terrence Ross donated 17 as the Raptors came off
a nine-point win in Boston on Wednesday. Greivis Vasquez and Jonas Valanciunas
had 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Johnson poured in eight with eight
The Raptors have won six straight against the Magic, including both games this
season. Toronto has taken two in a row in Orlando and four of the last six in
03/30 10:12:53 ET