A 103-97 team victory saw the Magic tame the Raptors in Toronto. It was for Orlando a team performance built on a strong foundation of defence.
In fairness to Toronto, they looked tired being on the second night of a back-to-back and playing their sixth game in eight days. That being said Orlando played well and targeted Toronto’s vulnerability effectively. They played with energy as Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs pushed the offensive pace. Every player was engaged on defence and harried the Raptors players. That effort saw Toronto held to scoring 23, 16 and 21 points in the opening three quarters.
As of every game since All Star Orlando scored across the team, last night seven players making double-digit contributions. The Magic also turned the ball over only 11 times throughout the match. When considering that the Raptors rank second in the league at forcing opponent turnovers this was a significant achievement.
Magic Top Performers
Every player who took to the court brought a solid contribution.
Cole Anthony led the team with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, that he supplemented with 5 assists. His shooting efficiency was not good, especially from deep but he continued to be a threat all game.
Jalen Suggs also had 15 points scored. Against the team that passed on him and in front of a crowd who inexplicably feel a need to jeer him he stuffed the stat sheet. By the close aside from scoring Jalen had 6 rebounds, 7 assists, a block and a steal.
Franz Wagner got 11 points for his 54th double figure scoring game in 64 played. How he is not considered in the Rookie of the Year conversations is beyond me.
Mo Bamba again produced great energy and determination to get 14 points.
Chuma Okeke also secured a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds as he started in place of Wendell Carter Jr.
It may have only been a contribution of 6 points each but the energy and determination brought in the short minutes played by each of Admiral Schofield and Ignas Brazdeikis was telling. Admiral was a monster defensively.
Injury Report – Wendell Carter Jr missed out through illness, whilst Markelle Fultz was rested through injury management. Moe Wagner (left rib contusion), Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee) and Bol Bol (out for the season after surgery to a foot injury) all remain absent.
Up Next After The Magic Tame The Raptors In Toronto
After this win Orlando holds a record of 16 wins and 48 losses, which still sees us last in the Eastern Conference. Houston now holds the worst record in the NBA, by virtue of having played a game less (15-48). Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 7 wins of 29 games played. On the road it is 9 wins in 35 played for the Magic. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104 whilst conceding 111.7.
Tonight sees Orlando travel to Tennessee to play the high flying Memphis Grizzlies and MVP candidate Ja Morant. The Grizzlies won the first meeting of the season on February 5th by 135-115 at the Amway Center. Ja Morant, who is a walking highlight reel erupted for 33 points. Jaren Jackson Jr (who has to be considered in the Defensive Player of the Year reckoning) had 21 points. Cole Anthony led the Magic with 22 points and Jalen Suggs scored 17.
The Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis last played on the road in Boston, losing 107-120 to the Celtics. Ja Morant had 38 points and 7 assists. He again led the team with a stellar performance. Jaren Jackson Jr followed with a 20 points and Desmond Bane 17.
Starting Unit – Ja Morant (PG), Desmond Bane (SG), Jaren Jackson Jr (SF), Ziaire Williams (PF), Steven Adams (C)
Bench Unit – Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones, John Konchar, Jarrett Culver (DNP), Xavier Tilman (DNP), Killian Tillie (DNP) and Santie Aldama (DNP).
Dillon Brooks was again absent through injury.
Memphis have a record of 43 wins and 21 losses, which puts them 3rd in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 7. Their home record stands at 21 wins of 31 games played. In points per game the Grizzlies score 113.8 whilst conceding 109.2, rating 6th on offence and 8th defensively.
Should you wish to read Josh Cohen’s game review on a night when the Magic tame the Raptors in Toronto it is available on the Orlando Magic website.