Here we go Raptors and Magic and as close to a must win as you can have in November. Andrea Bargnani clearly with a bull’s-eye on his back as it is Jonas bobblehead day at the ACC. The Orlando Magic come into this one with more wins than the Raptors and young Canadian on their roster in Andrew Nicholson.
Bargnani early on with a steal and slam as to say screw you folks on the internet. The teams traded baskets early on till Jose Calderon hit three and that seemed to spark the Raptors as they got on a run and build an 18-8 lead on a 10-0 run. Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani had 13 points and the Raptors led 20-10 with 5:18 to play in the first. Raptors were on a mission in this one and off to an out character great start in the first. Andrea Bargnani included with 9 points and the Raptors led 28-17 with 2:36 left in first. Have we mentioned DeMar DeRozan has improved? Just an undressing of the Magic defender and jumper from the top of the key swish he has 11 in the game and Raptors a rare lead after one with score 32-22 Raptors.
John Lucas III with a jumper on the run to get the Raptors offense going it was a slow start for both teams. Andrew Nicholson was not having a great debut in his hometown going 0-4 early on for the Magic. It was a sluggish first four minutes to the second quarter with the Magic with a slight 5-4 advantage in quarter but the Raptors still up 9. Linas Kleiza angry he has no bobble head gets a bucket. Andrew Nicholson responds for the Magic with his first NBA bucket in his hometown. Glen Davis better known as Big Baby finally gets the wake-up call for this game and takes it at Ed Davis no relation. Ed would respond with a basket at the other end and is off to a nice 2-3 start. He would draw a foul on next possession with 3:42 on the clock. He split the pair and Raptors lead was back to 10 with score 45-35.
DeMar DeRozan was quietly performing his coupe to take over as the leader of the franchise with 15 points. A little sloppiness at the end but the Raptors led 49-41 at the break.
Raptors needed a strong start to the third to put this game on ice hopefully. Instead, the Magic get the first four points of the quarter and the Raptors take 2:14 to get on the board, as Dominic McGuire got a score and he had been contributing on the offensive end. Magic would get on an 8-2 run to start the third. Bargnani missed an easy hook in the paint. Jonas would get a score after a couple misses on the next possession. Raptors allowed the Magic to believe they could win now and were in yet another scrap not to level of the GSP one last night but a fight none the less. Magic down just 5 with score 59-54 it was getting tight. Dominic McGuire was actually keeping the Raptors in it with 11 points on the day and 6 in third so far.
Jonas got beat and took a foul on defensive end. He would come back on offensive end and miss but get his own rebound and score. Jonas would later find his way to the line and split a pair Raptors with a slim 62-58 lead. Nicholson with a key score and draws a foul makes that as well and gets his Magic to within one at 64-63. You could feel this one slipping away and the Magic finally did tie the game at 65. They would take the lead after Jonas split two at the line with a lay-up by Nelson making it 67-66. This was the first lead for the Magic since 6-4 back in the first quarter. Magic would take a 69-67 lead to the fourth after a hard fought third from them.
Kleiza back in and still mad as hell he has no bobblehead scores to open scoring in the fourth and tie the game at 69 (insert joke here). Big Baby and Amir Johnson trade baskets. Amir would get teched up for his as he slammed it home and smacked the backboard drawing a tech. I thought the NFL was the No Fun League not the NBA. Magic make the tech and lead 72-71. Raptors get a couple triple one from a likely source in Kleiza and one from Amir Johnson in the corner not so expected. Back to back triples give Raptors a 79-74 lead. Amir was a one man gang refusing to allow the Raptors to lose this one. Perhaps that tech call helped light the fire as well.
Jose Calderon was quietly having a nice day at the point racking up 13 assists to this point. Raptors just caught on fire now and everyone was getting in on the act as Bargnani gets a score and then Calderon lops it up for DeRozan to slam it home Raptors lead back to 11 points after teasing blowing this one. The Raptors were kicking tail after the slow start to the fourth with a 22-9 advantage so far. It was Kleiza with perhaps the KO blow, with a three in the corner to extend the lead to 14, ball game over? Raptors were going cruise to victory it looks line with just two minutes to play they had a 12 point lead. Credit to Amir Johnson for getting this thing rolling he would get a pass from Bargnani and finish it off.
Raptors do finish it off and take the win at the ACC with no pizza for you 97-86. Who cares about pizza though we got Chicken wings for your Raptor topics for TWIR so send us you questions/topics and the best 3 that we use on This Week In Raptor land will get a free pound of chicken wings from St Louis Wings.
This was a great job by the Raptors aside from the third quarter of play. Send us those topics or question you can leave them in the comments or send it to us on Twitter @Dinonationblog with #TWIR5. Raptors are 3-7 and heading to the road for some winnable games next week.
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