Usually when heading to and Orlando Magic game, you’ll see a few Magic jerseys, but also plentys of jersey for the night’s opposing team. Before Friday’s game three playoff gave against the Toronto Raptors, Magic fans came out in droves, and the where on fire
The Orlando Magic fought to keep up with the more talented Toronto Raptors, but it was an errant shot and a loose rebound that cloud the 98-93 win for the Raptors in front of rabid Amway center full of 19,367 fans.
The Raptors are stacked, with soon-to-be free agent superstar Kawhai Leonard, forward Danny Green, up and coming star Pascal Siacam, plus former Grizzlies staple Marc Gasol and more, this talented squad has more that what it takes to take care of the 7th playoff seed post-season newbies.
But the Magic have fight in them. They have developed a never give up spirit that has served them well since just before the all-star break.
The Raptors opened the game with a 10-0 run, and while the Magic managed to finally find their bearings, the Raptors had the pedal down and were pushing hard for a win, just like in game two where they dominated the Magic.
Siacam dominated Orlando from the inside and outside for a game high 30 points. Leonard got his shots when he needed them and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Orlando fought to keep up as Toronto didn’t look like the game was much of a challenge in the early first quarter. Jonathan Isaac seemed ot be the only Magic player that was ready to play. The Raptors continued to double up and torture Orlando all-star Nikola Vucevic, who managed only 4 points and three rebounds in the first quarter.
A Quick timeout by Head coach Steve Clifford and the ship seemed to look back on course, at lease defensively. Orlando managed to fight back and by the end of the first half, the were in reach by trailing the Raptors 48-45 at the half after a Terrance Ross half court shot at the buzzer.
The Raptors managed to butld a 17 point lead, but Orlando’s new confidence this year showed, and the managed to tie the game and even take the lead in the third quarter.
“The disappointing part of tonight in the fourth quarter was the rebounding game,’’ Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “(Toronto’s Norman) Powell running down the long (rebound), which led to a three. And then the last (rebound) also. Those five, six, seven or eight seconds ended up being critical in the game. What has been a really good strength for the majority of the year (the rebounding), we came up short with it.’’
In the end, Toronto, with Siakam and Leonard continuous tracks and Kyle Lowry’s repeated flopping proved to be a little too much for the Magic. Four Raptors starters scored in double fogures with Siakam, Leonard, Siam, and Lowrt scored double-doubles.
for the Magic, Vucevic got is game goin in the third quarter and got Orlando back into the game. Marc Gasol was sent to the bench because of foul trouble and it was the opening Vucevic needed.
After scoring only 4 points in the first half, he had 18 by the end of the this quarter, and 22 to close out the game. in the end, the magic were close, but came up short. Orlando got within 94-90 with 1:55 to play by rallying behind two crucial baskets from Ross (24 points and five 3-pointers).
But Leonard was gifted a no-call traveling play and got a pass out to Siakam who dropped in a floater to keep the Magic at bey with a six point lead.
The Magic face the Raptors again on Sunday at Amway Center.