Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/20/18
The Toronto Raptors are in the unfamiliar position of bouncing back from a loss as they start a two-game swing Tuesday night versus the Orlando Magic.
Despite having their 12-game winning streak snapped Sunday by Oklahoma City, the Raptors (52-18) still have a comfortable five-game lead atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference over the Boston Celtics with 12 games remaining.
The margin of the 132-125 defeat was inflated by a last-minute meltdown that started when DeMar DeRozan felt he was fouled on a potential game-tying drive and no call came. DeRozan picked up two technicals and an ejection in the ensuing possession, triggering a further outburst from both forward Serge Ibaka and coach Dwane Casey, who were both run after they each picked up two technical fouls.
The end overshadowed a fine offensive performance by Toronto, who hit 15 of 30 from 3-point range and shot 56.8 percent. DeRozan finished with 24 points while Kyle Lowry added 22 and ten assists while making five of seven from beyond the arc.
The Raptors, who set a franchise record with that 12-game winning streak, are looking to extend their franchise-record run on the road to nine.
Orlando (21-49) were denied back-to-back wins for the second time this month after a 92-83 setback to short-handed Boston on Friday night that was not as close as the final score indicates. Shelvin Mack scored 16 points off the bench as the Magic were held to 31 first-half points and shot 37.8 percent.
The good news for the Magic is they will be closer to full strength as starting forward Aaron Gordon has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and is expected to play. Gordon, who averages 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds, has missed the last five games due to post-concussion symptoms.
Starting guard Evan Fournier, however, is expected to miss his sixth straight contest with a sprained left MCL.