Not our night again as Toronto took a strong win on the back of a dominant Fred VanVleet, by a score of 123-108. VanVleet made NBA history by recording the most points scored in a game by an undrafted player.
THE OPENING QUARTER
Evan Fournier scored 9 of the Magic’s opening points as they raced out to an 11-0 lead.
Toronto moved through the gears and responded to take a 17-16 lead. The lead was stretched further on the strength of their ball movement and shooting from deep.
A beautiful Jordan Bone step back 3 was responded to by a red hot Fred VanVleet for his fifth success from deep.
At the buzzer the teams were tied 33-33 only for the Replay Centre to correctly remove a Nikola Vucevic score as a shot clock violation had occurred.
INTO THE SECOND QUARTER
Trailing 33-31 Orlando carried on with the intensity they had shown in the first quarter.
Chuma Okeke hit a good looking corner 3 as Orlando kept step with Toronto. A Jordan Bone drive and pass found Chuma on the wing for another made 3. He followed this with a score in the arc to give the Magic a 40-42 lead.
Unfortunately Okeke had also racked up 4 quick fouls which contributed to Toronto being in the bonus very early in the quarter.
Evan Fournier was working hard on both ends of the court, resulting in him having 15 points half way through the quarter. Orlando had forced 6 turnovers and scored 11 points off those.
Orlando would have been clear were it not for Fred VanVleet’s scoring, who was imperious in every facet of the game. Toronto’s barrage of 3’s saw them 64-60 ahead at halftime. 8 of those 11 made three’s came from the hand of Fred VanVleet, who already had 28 points.
The high scoring half saw Vooch and Evan combined for 30 of Orlando’s points.
THE THIRD QUARTER
The third started with Cole Anthony hitting the Magic’s 9th made 3 of the night. Cole followed that shot up by muscling in a drive. Gary Clark hit a corner 3 and the Magic quickly led 64-68 out of the break.
The game was very entertaining as Orlando showed every ounce of determination and character they could muster.
Again Orlando hit foul trouble, seeing the Raptors in the bonus with 7 minutes to play.
A 15-0 run from Toronto saw them blow the game apart, as VanVleet continued to play at an unbelievable level.
At the close the scoreline read 96-82 to Toronto.
Fred VanVleet had 46 points on 11 of 13 three point shooting and a perfect 7 of 7 from the free throw line.
INTO THE FOURTH
The game was all but won entering the final quarter. Orlando continued to try to play but the efforts of the Toronto defence and pace were starting to show on a undermanned but spirited Magic team.
THE FINAL SCORE – 123-108
ON THE NIGHT
Fred VanVleet had a career night for which the team had no answer. 11 made 3 pointers, the most ever by a Magic opponent and he broke the Raptors franchise scoring record with 54 points.
Kyle Lowry got a triple-double.
The returning Norman Powell added 23 points.
Orlando drop to a season record of 8-14, remaining 12th in the East.
Six Magic players made double figure scoring. Cole Anthony scored well with 16 points and Vooch hit a strong double-double.
Terrence Ross was not one of those to contribute, making only 1 shot in 8 attempts. Such an important player can not be so unproductive if Orlando are to win games.
It is hard to do anything but applaud the organisation of Toronto’s defence. Coach Nick Nurse has marshalled his team repeatedly to stop Nikola Vucevic. Their defensive play gives no space in the paint and they seek to force errors. From that defence comes fast offence.
A telling stat on the night again was the number of points off of turnovers. Toronto scored 36 points from the 16 Orlando made. From the Raptors 11 turnovers the Magic only scored 16 points. Too many Orlando fouls gave the Raptors 23 points.
Up next it is double header with an 8-11 Chicago Bulls team.