Magic beat the Raptors in a 2nd straight game for a 3-game winning streak – The Denver Post

The first two meetings between the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors showcased what both teams do best offensively.

So it was fitting that Sunday’s game, the third in nine days between the two sides, was primarily a defensive battle.

The frequency of playing against each other created familiarity, which led to the Magic and the Raptors disrupting opposing offenses.

In the end, the Magic capitalized on the advantages and opportunities they created, beating the Raptors 111-99 at the Amway Center.

“I loved our courage,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “Our ability to know it would be a knockdown type game, we stayed the course. The shots may not have fallen early, but our ability to stay the course and stay in the fight [prevailed].”

The win was the Magic’s third straight (8-20) season-best winning streak. The Magic’s previous three-game winning streak was from February 17-21, 2021.

Orlando beat Toronto Friday 113-109 after falling to the Raptors 121-108 in Toronto on Dec. 3. The Magic kicked off the winning streak with a 116-111 home win in overtime over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

The Magic and Raptors both struggled to create good scoring opportunities early, leading to the Raptors having a 19-18 lead late in the first quarter and both teams shooting within 40 % of the field when the Magic took a 47-39 lead. at halftime.

The offenses came alive in the second half, with the Raptors winning the third 36-35 to cut the Magic’s lead to 82-75 heading into the final quarter.

But the Magic got the buckets early in the fourth — and the defensive stops — needed to create separation.

With the Magic leading 86-79, there was Franz Wagner’s pull-up 3 with 10:04 remaining which kicked off a streak of three straight Wagner 3s to give the Magic a 95-79 lead.

“It showed so much confidence in each other, our team and the guys ready to do that extra pass, the single pass,” Mosley said. “We talked about it at half-time: just make the game simple. The simple game will be the best game.”

Mo Bamba had a comeback dunk and Cole Anthony made a floater to keep the Magic’s lead at 16 midway through the fourth, with the Magic holding at least an 8-point advantage for the rest of the game.

Wagner scored a team-high 23 points, including 11 in fourth, on 6-of-14 shooting and 8-of-10 free throws.

Bamba (18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks) and Anthony (14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) combined for 32 points off the bench.

Paolo Banchero, who hit the midrange shot to give the Magic a 109-99 lead with 46.5 remaining to seal the victory, added 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

Gary Trent Jr. (24 points) and Fred VanVleet (20 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals) led the Raptors (13-14), who have lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven.

The Magic held the Raptors to 40% shooting (30 of 75) from the field and 24% on 3s (6 of 25).

Sunday ended the Magic’s “baseball-style” streak – when two teams play back-to-back games at the same location with no travel in between – of the season.

They will play three more games: in Boston (Friday and December 18); in Philadelphia (January 30 and February 1); and against Cleveland (April 4 and 6).

Wendell Carter Jr. (strained right foot plantar fascia), Gary Harris (strained right hamstring), Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery), Chuma Okeke (left knee pain) and Jalen Suggs (left knee pain) right ankle) sat down on Sunday.

The Magic, seeking their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 23-29, 2020 (the first four games of the 2020-21 season), wrap up the five-game home game against Atlanta on Wednesday.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Prize to khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.



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