Orlando Magic Grades: Magic close out Toronto Raptors in narrow victory

Franz Wagner was a dominant force for the Orlando Magic hitting the go-ahead basket to secure the team a big win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Franz Wagner was a dominant force for the Orlando Magic hitting the go-ahead basket to secure the team a big win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

38. Final. 109. 81. 113

Franz Wagner made a lot of baskets during the Orlando Magic’s game Friday against the Toronto Raptors. With seven minutes left in the third quarter, he hit a pull-up jumper over the defense to give him 32 points and the Magic a 20-point lead.

Orlando is not a team that can coast. And Wagner’s absence from the offense was noticeable. He took only one shot after that point in the game.

It turned out it was the most important basket of the game.

With the game tied at 109, Wagner’s putback layup put the Orlando Magic up by two points with 30 seconds remaining in regulation and that was enough for the Magic to close out a 113-109 victory over the Raptors.

The Orlando Magic withstood a big rally from the Toronto Raptors and saw Franz Wagner play the hero in a second straight win.

It was sometimes shaky down the stretch as the Magic watched their 20-point lead disappear. But the team made plays down the stretch and ultimately got the stop they needed to secure the win.

"“We had a bunch of good stretches throughout the game and then they came back and tied it up,” Wagner told the Bally Sports Florida broadcast immediately after the game. “It says a lot about the group that we fought this one out.”"

Wagner had his best game of the season, scoring a team-high 34 points. With 7:53 remaining in the third quarter, Wagner already scored 32 points. He scored 18 in the first half and 14 early third-quarter points.

Orlando took a modest five-point lead at halftime and turned it into a 20-point lead midway through the third thanks to that push from the second-year forward.

Toronto slowly cut down the lead to six heading into the fourth. Under the shoulders of Pascal Siakam, the Raptors tied the game with 1:58 remaining in the fourth.

Siakam scored 10 straight points for the Raptors in the fourth. He finished with a game-high 36 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.

But Orlando held off Toronto despite its own youthful struggles — too many fouls and turnovers particularly.

The Magic (7-20) had one of their better shooting games of the season. The team shot 59.2 percent from the field. Orlando led by Wagner attacked the basket and scored 50 points in the paint.

Player Grades

Franz Wagner: A

Franz Wagner had his best offensive game of the season with 34 points. He attacked the paint at will to start the game. He was confident with his outside shot as well — hitting 2 of 4 three-point attempts.

Wagner was hot and the only knock on him this game is from the 7:53 mark of the third, he did not score again until the final minute of the game.

Wagner’s final basket pulled the Magic to victory. He took advantage of the smaller Fred VanVleet and boxed him out completely to get the offensive rebound for the putback layup. Wagner should strike the ion while it is hot and continue shooting going forward.

Paolo Banchero: B+

Just like in the LA Clippers win Wednesday, Paolo Banchero knocked down some clutch free-throws to end the game.

The rookie had an efficient game, going 8 of 11 from the field and scoring 23 points. He made 6 of 7 free-throw attempts, which is right on average with his 8.7 attempts per game (fifth best in the league).

Banchero’s defensive effort will not go unnoticed. He had a big challenge against Chris Boucher late in the third quarter.

With the Raptors inching down the lead, the 6-foot-10 Banchero challenged Boucher on a baseline layup and forced him to go up and under, causing a miss. Again in the final seconds of the game, Banchero stayed in front of VanVleet and forced him to attempt a tough step-back jumper, which bounced off the rim.

Banchero had a good all-around game — also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.

Moe Wagner: B

Moe Wagner came up big for the Orlando Magic late in the fourth. Wagner forced a charge with 1:14 remaining in regulation. With the Toronto Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr. attacking the paint, Moe Wagner sacrificed his body, stepping in front of Trent to cause the offensive foul.

Wagner’s 11 points and four rebounds does not say much, but he was vital in helping the Magic pull off the victory. He continues to make a case to play more minutes when Wendell Carter comes back into the fold.

Cole Anthony: B

Cole Anthony came off the bench and provided a spark for the Orlando Magic. He scored 18 points with five assists and three rebounds. He had the hot hand, going 7 for 10 from the field and 3 for 5 from three.

Anthony stepped into the game in the first quarter and knocked down back-to-back threes. He scored eight of his 18 points in the first.

The only knock on Anthony this game is some careless turnovers. He had three in the first half and finished with four.

Toronto Raptors: B

The Toronto Raptors (13-13) did not have its best stuff tonight.

Defensively the Toronto Raptors did not have an answer for the Orlando Magic, who scored 50 points in the paint. A slow start had them playing catch-up for most of the game.

Toronto did a great job getting the ball to the hot hand. Gary Trent came off the bench and scored 15 of his 20 points in the second quarter. Pascal Siakam was a monster offensively all game with 36 points and Fred VanVleet scored 19 points. Both Siakam and VanVleet went 2 for 9 from three. Had a few more of those gone down, the Raptors might have come away with the win.

Next. Jamahl Mosley is keeping the big picture in mind. dark

The Magic look to continue its winning streak as they face the Raptors again Sunday at Amway.