The final two possessions for the Magic summed up their night and erased any warm feelings from a 10-0 run that turned what might have been a runaway fourth quarter into a tight battle.
Down by three points, J.J. Redick got into the paint and tried a risky pass to Gustavo Ayon. Ayon fumbled the ball away for the Magic's 17th turnover of the game. A missed DeMar DeRozan jumper gave the Magic one last chance. The Magic got J.J. Redick on a curl screen and he fired away from long range for the tie. It hit hard off the back iron and E'Twaun Moore grabbed the rebound.
With one last chance and time ticking down, Jameer Nelson drove toward the 3-point line and one last chance to tie the game. Sure the Raptors seemed eager to foul him and Nelson eager to draw the foul. But it was not called and Nelson lost the ball trying to draw the referee's attention.
That would be turnover 18 and the icing to a 93-90 loss at Air Canada Centre to the streaking Raptors, now winners of five straight.
The turnovers were the story of this game as the Magic had the advantage at just about every statistical category. That might have been the frustrating part of this game and the what-if that was left after its conclusion. The opportunity to win was there once again, the Magic just could not execute well enough to earn a fifth straight victory.
Orlando committed 18 turnovers giving up 17 points off those turnovers. Toronto committed only nine and that proved to make up the difference for a relatively strong shooting night from the Magic.
After a slow start to the game — really for both teams — where there were lots of mid-range jumpers and poor shots, Orlando began to slowly catch fire. The team ended up shooting 50.0 percent for the night and that helped make up for the sloppy execution and ball handling and any of the fast break points the Raptors got off those turnovers.
Arron Afflalo turned in an impressive 26-point performance, shooting 7 for 11 from the floor. Nikola Vucevic provided the scoring punch in the first half recording a double double in the first half on his way to 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Magic though were playing catch up the entire game though. Orlando seemed to be down by six points for most of the game and could never quite get over the hump. There was no run to overtake Toronto, not until it was perhaps too late. The turnovers made sure of that. So too did a career game from Terrence Ross (13 points including a breakaway windmill slam).
The Magic seemed still to be fitting into new roles with Glen Davis out of the lineup.
Andrew Nicholson got a few looks early, but struggled to get the ball into the basket. Jacque Vaughn went with Gustavo Ayon for the majority of the game at the power forward spot. Ayon earned it with a season-best game of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Jameer Nelson struggled to get his shot going too, shooting 4 for 10 on his way to nine points. J.J. Redick also struggled from the floor making only three of his nine shots and failing to make any of his five 3-point attempts.
Again, it is just tough to win many games when there are so many turnovers. Particularly when five each came from guards Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson. That proved to be too much to overcome for the Magic on this evening.
The late run — Orlando trailed by 11 points with about three minutes to play — was somewhat to be expected from a team that does not quit on a game and score points in a hurry. There were no turnovers at that point of the game. Not until the end when Orlando needed execution.
For Vaughn, it was another game that was a learning experience for his team. That will not be a comfort for a team that had their immediate goal of reaching .500 in sight.