Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/21/12
TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors led by 11 points late in the game and then watched their advantage shrink to one point in three minutes. But they withstood the late push by the Orlando Magic to increase their winning streak to five games with a 93-90 victory on Friday that became more tense than the Air Canada Centre crowd of 18,391 expected. "We are (pleased), but we are not totally pleased," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "We were running on fumes tonight but that is when you slow down and execute. When your mind is not thinking you have to slow your body down. I do not think we did that in the last four to five possessions in the game." After DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 17 points and eight rebounds, missed a 17-foot jump shot with 12 seconds to play, the Magic had one more chance. But J.J. Redick missed the 3-point attempt and the Magic turned the ball over after gaining the rebound. "Great look," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of Redick's attempt. "I think everyone from our view thought it was going in. It was on line, great arch –- just didn't go." The Raptors had six players score in double figures as they snapped the Magic's four-game winning streak. Point guard Jose Calderon added 13 points and nine assists, rookie guard Terrence Ross also had 13 points and had two steals late in the game, forward Ed Davis, swingman Alan Anderson and forward Amir Johnson each had 10 and Linas Kleiza chipped in with nine. Magic swingman Arron Afflalo led all scorers with 26, center Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 12 rebounds, forward-center Gustavo Ayon and guard E'Twaun Moore had 12 each. "He was great," Vaughn said of Ayon. "He was physical for us, he was great at pick-and-roll coverage, rebounding and setting streams. All the things that he's very capable of doing and all things we ask him to do." The Magic made 18 turnovers leading to 17 Raptors points, including three in the fourth quarter. "A lot of mine were early, but they were bad turnovers," said Afflalo who had five turnovers. "You never like to say you won or lost the on a play in the fourth quarter. The turnovers that occur in the in the first and second quarters are just as responsible (for the loss) as the late turnovers. We have to do a better job of it throughout the entire game." Toronto rookie center Jonas Valanciunas left the game after 4:29 was played in the first quarter. X-rays on his right hand showed a fractured ring finger. He did not return. "Just the fact that we know we can win these games," Johnson said on the team's changed mindset. "We came so close in so many fourth quarters. We are on a winning streak now and we believe that we can win. We definitely finished off. "I think we kind of slacked a little bit in the fourth quarter. For one, I looked at the time and we had three minutes left and we were up by eight, or 10, maybe we can just drain the clock and they came back on us. We just had to be back on our toes and that's our fault." Toronto led by nine points entering the fourth quarter and the Magic cut the lead to five in the first two minutes. But a put-back jam by Ross and a bank shot by DeRozan who made the resulting free throw had Toronto's lead up to 78-68. The Raptors moved 11 points into the lead with 5:52 to play after Ross hit a 3-pointer, then made a steal and finished off the play with a slam dunk. Ayon put in a rebound with a 1:51 to play to reduce the Toronto lead to 91-85. A loose ball foul put the Magic at the line with 1:30 to play and Ayon hit both free throws to cut the lead to four points, After an offensive foul on Anderson, Jameer Nelson came back to hit a 3-point shot for Orlando with 55.9 seconds left to cut the lead to 91-90. After DeRozan missed a driving jumper, Johnson grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Ayon. Johnson made both free throws to put Toronto up by three with 42.6 seconds left. Ross picked up a steal after Ayon turned the ball over with 30 seconds left but DeRozan missed his shot. The Magic had one more chance but Redick missed his 3-point attempt. Moore got the rebound but Nelson turned the ball over to Mickael Pietrus to end the game. The Raptors took a 42-39 lead into the second half. A 3-pointer by John Lucas bumped the lead to 11 with 22 seconds left in the third quarter. Moore hit a 13-foot jumper in the final second of the third to reduce the Raptor lead to 71-62. NOTES: Johnson had the team's claw logo shaved and dyed on the back of his head. "I was just thinking about doing something when I was sitting around the house," he said. "It's just my personality. It's what I do." Johnson injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win over Detroit but came back to make two key defensive plays down the stretch. He was ready to play Friday. ... .forward-center Andrea Bargnani (right elbow) and guard Kyle Lowry (right triceps) continue to be out for Toronto. ... forward-center Glen Davis (left shoulder) was out for Orlando while forwards Al Harrington (right knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (left hand) continue to be out. ... The last time Toronto won five consecutive games was Jan. 22-31, 2010. ... The last time the teams met, the Raptors beat the Magic 97-86 at ACC on Nov. 18. ... Magic rookie forward Andrew Nicholson made his first career NBA start Friday and had six points and four rebounds in 19:45. The native of nearby Mississauga, Ontario, was a first-round draft pick (19th overall) from St. Bonaventure. ... Toronto plays next at San Antonio at AT&T Center on Dec. 26. ... Orlando plays Utah Sunday at Amway Center.
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