Toronto Raptors @ Orlando Magic


After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic will look to continue their winning ways when they play host to the Toronto Raptors Friday night.

The win over the 76ers pushed the Magic’s record to 27-15, good for third in the Southeast division and fifth in the east. The Magic are just 2.5 games behind the Heat for the division lead and the #2 seed.

The Raptors blew an 11-point lead and fell to the San Antonio Spurs 104-95 Wednesday night. The loss was their fifth straight and dropped them to 13-29. They’re fourth in the Atlantic division and 12th in the East.

Toronto is eighth in pace (94.0), 16th in offensive rating (106.5) and 26th in defensive rating (111.1).

These two teams met earlier in the season in Orlando and the Raptors pulled off a 110-106 upset after Sonny Weems’ three-pointer broke a 103-103 tie with just 7.1 seconds to play. Andrea Bargnani led the way for the Raptors with 27 points while DeMar DeRozan added 26. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Jameer Nelson poured in 23 points to go with eight assists.

The game will be shown locally on FSN Florida. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

Tip off from the the Amway Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.

The Line: Orlando – 12.0 (204.5)


Toronto Raptors

Andrea Bargnani
Joey Dorsey
Linas Kleiza
DeMar DeRozan
Jose Calderon

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Brandon Bass
Hedo Turkoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson

The Raptors have really struggled with injuries all season. Reggie Evans (right foot surgery) and Sonny Weems (lower back spasms) are out indefinitely while Leandro Barbosa is out for one-to-two weeks with a strained right hamstring. Jerryd Bayless has a sore left ankle but played in Wednesday’s loss to the Spurs. Linas Kleiza missed that game with a sore right knee.

For the Magic, Malik Allen is questionable with a sprained left ankle while Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) and Jason Williams (arthritis in feet) are out indefinitely.

The Raptors bought out the contract of Peja Stojakovic and he will become a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

The officials will be Joe Crawford, Eric Dalen and Tom Washington.

Opponent To Watch: Andrea Bargnani, F/C – the former first overall pick’s ability to shoot the ball has given the Magic some problems in the past and that includes his 27-point performance in Toronto’s win over Orlando earlier this year. The big man is having an excellent season scoring-wise, averaging 21.5 points per game. He’s shooting 46.6% from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc. He’s played in 14 games against the Magic, starting 12, and is averaging 14.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

What To Watch For: The last time these two teams met was before Orlando’s trades so clearly, this is a completely different matchup. The Raptors were depleted from injuries in that game and although they are more healthy this time around, this is a game that shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Magic. Then again, Wednesday night’s game against the 76ers shouldn’t have been either. The Raptors are one of the league’s worst defensive teams so the Magic should be able to score with relative ease. The Raptors are average on offense so we should see improvement from the Magic defense as long as they bring the right effort and injury.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).