Orlando Magic must live and die by the three ball in Game 5

Evan Fournier's shooting struggles hurt the Orlando Magic throughout their playoff series. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Evan Fournier's shooting struggles hurt the Orlando Magic throughout their playoff series. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic have lost three straight against the Toronto Raptors and must hit the three ball tonight in order to force a Game 6.

Right now Thursday’s Game 6 at the Amway Center says, “If Necessary.”

And it does not feel necessary at the moment because the last three games the Orlando Magic have played against the Toronto Raptors have not been what fans in Central Florida expected.

Fans in Central Florida expected a win in at least one of the two home games at the Amway Center. But the Magic lost both games and find their backs to the wall in an elimination Game 5 on Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena. The Magic had the momentum after a shocking Game 1 victory on the road and gave it back over the weekend.

Realistically, the Magic are a D.J. Augustin buzzer-beater away from being swept like the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons were.

That shot seemed to wake up the dinosaur. Since then the Magic have lost three straight and are now on the brink of elimination against the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors remember that shot.

It is the type of shot the team will need if the Magic plan on extending their postseason hopes and forcing a Game 6. It will be the only way the Magic will be able to stay alive.

In Game 1, the Magic shot 48.3 percent from beyond the arc, hitting 14 threes and silencing the crowd in Toronto for a 104-101 upset win.

D.J. Augustin shot 80 percent from three while Aaron Gordon made both of his shots from deep. The Magic played excellent as seven players on the roster hit at least one 3-pointer.

This is the formula to victory, as proven in Game 1.

Since then the Magic have shot terrible beyond the arc.

In Game 2, the Magic shot 26.5 percent from beyond the arc and almost lost by 30 points. Although it was not just the terrible shooting that led to a loss — the Magic were awful on defense as well. But the poor shooting and high turnover count definitely contributed.

D.J. Augustin was back to earth and less aggressive only attempting one 3-pointer the entire game with Danny Green hounding him the entire way. Jonathan Isaac missed all six of his 3-point shots. Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac and D.J. Augustin combined for a meager 0 for 8 from beyond the arc. It was a tough night for the guys.

This all speaks to how important it is for the team to shoot well from deep in order to stay alive.

In Game 3, the Magic shot 29.5 percent from three but only lost by five points. Orlando took 44 3-point attempts in that game, many of them open. And too many simply would not fall.

Evan Fournier, arguably the team’s best 3-point shooter, shot 1 for 8 from deep in this game, while D.J. Augustin shot 25 percent from three. This was clearly a formula for disaster.

Who knows what the outcome of the series would have been if the Magic continued to shoot well as they did in Game 1. Or even shoot at their average — 35.6 percent, 11th in the league during the regular season.

Now the Magic are at the brink of elimination and a great shooting night may lead to them extending the series to six games.

They cannot shoot as they did in Game 4 either. The Magic shot 21.2 percent from beyond the arc in the matchup on Sunday, erasing any chance of a Playoff victory at home. Toronto shot 39.3 percent from deep again, taking the life out of a young Magic team at home.

Nikola Vucevic missed both his 3-pointers in Game 4 and Evan Fournier shot 2 for 8. That is 20 percent between the team’s best perimeter scorers. That will not work against the better teams in the NBA Playoff.

The Magic have to find a rhythm behind the arc on the road in front of all of the Raptors fans. That may be a problem. We just do not know which Magic team will show up.

Will it be the Game 1 Magic or the Game 2-4 Magic?

Next. Orlando Magic's offensive woes dooming them in series. dark

Only time will tell if this version of the Magic is good enough to win multiple times in Toronto. If they are able to win they will have an excellent shooting percentage from deep when it over.