The Orlando Magic gave a poor effort Sunday evening and fell to the Toronto Raptors 102-98. The Magic never really l..."/> The Orlando Magic gave a poor effort Sunday evening and fell to the Toronto Raptors 102-98. The Magic never really l..."/>

Magic Give Another Poor Effort In Loss to Raptors


The Orlando Magic gave a poor effort Sunday evening and fell to the Toronto Raptors 102-98. The Magic never really looked all that into the game and didn’t play particularly well on either end of the court.

Dwight Howard had 31 points and nine rebounds for the Magic while DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points.

Early on, neither team could get much going on the offensive end and the Raptors held a 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Magic exploded in the second half for 30 points and were able to take a three-point lead into the half. The Magic were 18-of-39 (46.2%) from the field in the first half while the Raptors shot just 19-of-42 (45.2%).

In the second half, the Raptors were absolutely on fire. They were 21-of-37 (56.8%) from the field in the second half led by DeRozan’s 16 second half points. After letting Toronto get into the lead, the Magic had plenty of chances to tie the game or take the lead but poor free throw shooting, a couple of untimely turnovers and Orlando’s inability to get stops down the stretch killed the Magic’s chances down the stretch.

After the jump, you can read more thoughts, observations and quote from the game.

It’s no surprise the Magic lost this game with the lack of effort they gave, especially on the defensive end in the second half. After the game, Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was quite upset with his team’s effort, saying the Raptors “played like they wanted to win and we played like we didn’t care.”

The Magic had plenty of chances to blow the game open but really didn’t put in the effort required to do just that.

Despite having his streak of 33 straight doubles-doubles, Dwight Howard was fantastic again. He scored 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting and was 9-of-15 from the free throw line. It wasn’t as if he didn’t rebound the ball – he grabbed nine boards. Howard did miss three free throws and had a bad turnover down the stretch but clearly the loss cannot be put on him – he was great. In fact, after the game ended, Van Gundy talked about how Orlando’s defense fell apart with Howard out of the game, saying it was “a little ridiculous we can’t even let Dwight get a drink of water.”

Jameer Nelson helped pick up the scoring load for the Magic by scoring 15 second half points on 5-of-9 shooting. He had 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting for the game and did a good job of keeping up with a Raptors offense the Magic just couldn’t (or didn’t care to) stop.

As explained before the game, the Raptors are a very poor rebounding team yet they were absolutely dominated the glass, grabbing 48 rebounds to Orlando’s 30. Howard and Brandon Bass combined for 18 boards while the other six players grabbed just 12 combined boards. Reggie Evans was able to grab 16 defensive rebounds (17 total) in just 32 minutes as the Raptors prevented the Magic from getting second chance points.

Next Up: The Magic will host the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night.

Final Thought: It was yet another poor effort from the Orlando Magic, prompting Van Gundy to say, “I’m confident in what we’re able to do when we want to play. But I’m not confident our guys will come out with an approach.”

With the way the magic have played, how can anyone disagree?

(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).