The tap was misfire(Not a Gilbert Arenas Joke) so they get a redo and Magic win the tip. Both teams fail to score on opening possession. D-12 opens up the score sheet with 2 inside. Nelson the jumper over Jack and it was 4-0. Raps could not buy a basket early on offense. Jack the drive and score to open up the books for the Raps. Bargnani a nice spin move and D-12 gets called on the goaltend count the basket. D-12 and CB4 Olympic team buddies trade hoops 7-6 Magic. The Magic would get rolling and the plan was pass in to the big kid. V.C and Nelson both would hook up Howard for hoops. Magic doubling up the Raptors 12-6. Bosh took a shot in the nose as he went to block a shot. Barnes hit him in the nose and he would check out with a blood nose and hopefully nothing else. It was an offensive foul on Barnes. Raps with no CB4 only down 15-10. Demar Derozan cuts it to 3 with a jumper over V.C. Vince tries to answer the rookie on the other end and misses. Amir Johnson on the feed from Hedo would make the lead just 1.
Chris Bosh is o.k and back on the floor so was Antonie Wright hitting a jumper to give the Raps the lead for first time tonight 16-15. Barnes would hit a runner to get the Magic back on top 20-18. Wright with a shoulder sleeve was making shots hitting again to tie it at 20. He got banged up in the win over the Spurs is the word. Calderon on floor for first time with Raps down 22-21. First possession was a offensive 3 second call so no really feel for Jose yet. V.C would score plus an and 1 foul and Magic lead 25-21. A travel call and 2 turnovers with Jose at the controls. Not his fault thought just odd timing. Bosh hit his first points since checking back in with a nice jumper. Wright for 3 on the Calderon pass does not fall and Raps trail 27-23. Not great but not terrible for the first.
Magic shooting a blistering 62% and Raps around 55% in that opening frame. J.J Redick hits a 3 and is fouled. Raptors would battle back and score on back to back trips 31-27 Magic. Jose was looking sold on the offensive end and hooked up Bosh with a score and lead was down to just 2. Calderon a 3 ball Uno Dose and all that and Raps were in the lead 32-31. Back to back 3's Hedo hits and Raps largest lead of the night 35-31. Calderon was looking solid in his return early on. Jose would find Marco and he hit a running fading jumper. Marco plays the playmaker passing to team Italy and Bargnani score the GOOOOAALLLL!!! Raps were looking solid and had a lead.
Jack was back and safe to say a successful first appearance for Calderon. Sonny Weems would score and make the lead 6....Lewis 3 -Ball would cut that in half. Dwight Howard would score and lead was suddenly to 1. Marco Belinelli the drive and score Raps on top 43-40. Bargnani with some nice play on D getting a block on Superman. A traveling call on Dwight Howard with Bosh on him in the paint and the lead was still 3 for the Raptors. Jarrett Jack stole the ball and had to wait for the other 4 guys to realize he had. They would and he would find Bargnani and he would hit the lead was 47-42. Jose back in hitting a jumper and Raps looking good. Point guard controversy well not on this play...Calderon to Jack and he draws the foul. Raptors had their largest lead of night at 51-44. New Jack 3 ball!!! THE LEAD IS 10!!! 11-2 Raptors run. Nope it was only a 2 but Raps were rolling. Bargnani makes the lead 56-45. Raptors were looking solid and Magic were looking like a struggling basketball team. Raptors would lead 58-49 at the half and an impressive half it was. Great D in that quarter as Magic Shooting % nose dived to 44% while Raps climbing to 61%.
Great 2nd quarter from the Raptors could they keep it rolling? It was kind of odd Stan Van Gundy wasn't even freaking out. Hedo would hit a 3 ball and Raptors lead was 12 the largest of the night. DD a sweet jumper in rhythm and lead back to 12. Howard made a couple free throws than a sloppy turnover from CB$ and Magic were back to single digits down 8. Raps would get it back to 10 and V.C looked to make a 3 but no dice and V.C's shooting struggles continued. Demar Derozan hits one and he was 5 for 5 and he has 10..Raptors have largest lead on the night of 14. Raptors in control with the score 69-55.
Chris Bosh was not having a particularly great night with 2 misses he was shooting 4 for 10. Lewis would hit a big 3 ball for Orlando and he would make it back to back 3's taking a 12 point Raptor lead and cutting it in half to 6. After a Jay Triano time out a clutch 3 pointer from Jarrett Jack Raptors lead 72-63. After that Demar Derozan a jumper for 2 and he was 6 for 6 on the night all via the jump shot. Maybe that was why Vince Carter got a tech not long after or maybe it was that V.C was just struggling. Whatever the case V.C would have a seat. Chris Bosh would sucker Dwight Howard into a foul his 4th and he is frustrated as well and he was teched up as well. Raps would make all 3 foul shots and it was 78-64 Raptors. Bosh a slam and blows by Dwight who was still in the game with 4 fouls. Howard would pick up his 5th foul before the Quarter ended and that is HUGE!!! Raptors leading 82-68. Raptors would close quarter with a 18 point lead.
Flat out the Raptors were kicking Magic butt. The Crowd booed the Magic off the floor at the end of the 3rd. Raptors were looking very good. A little slippage and an open Redick 3 and the lead was 12. Bosh would answer with a loud slam dunk on the feed from Jose. But back to back baskets by Brandon Bass and Magic had cut the lead to 10. Jay Triano called a time out and it was needed. Triano had been calling good time outs tonight. Something I have got on him in the past about is waiting to long. However tonight he has been on the money in when he has used his time outs.
Teams trade misses out of the time out. Bargnani a clutch 3 after a bad miss in the paint. Back to back 3's and credit Bargnani with 3 and Calderon with the dime the lead back to 16. Magic were desperate and have gone to Howard with 5 fouls with still over 7 and half to play. V.C was also back in the mix recovered from his hissy fit in the 3rd. Magic were making a final push and were shooting free throws down 101-90. They would make both and the lead was 9 with 4:20ish to play. Magic would continue to push and had the lead cut to 6 points with 2:49 to go. Another time out from Triano and this one I might have pulled trigger a little sooner. Magic were out scoring Raps 27-15 and charging hard. down 101-95. The good Raptor defense was not evident in this 4th quarter. Raptors were hanging on for dear life up 101-97 with 2 minutes to play. Jack a missed 3 from the corner. On the Defensive end Andrea Bargnani would foul out with 1:17 to go. The lead was down to just 2 points. Hedo Turkoglu would draw a foul and head to the line for 2 with a minute to go. Hedo was clutch hitting both. Raptors lead was 103-99. That was first time the Raps had been to the line in the forth quarter. David Stern is not happy these days so I will just leave it at that. I don't want to be first ever blogger to be fined not named Arenas. Magic would score and cut lead back to just 2. A big out of bounds call would go the Raps way and Jack would get fouled and head to the line for 2 and he would only hit the first. Magic were down 3 with 16 seconds to play. Redick would get a good look at 3 but he missed it and Bosh the rebound. Bosh is fouled and makes a pair at the line which should ice this one. Redick would hit a layup and Marco Belinelli would be fouled make his free throws and it was done. Raptors win and reach .500.with a 108-103 win.
The 4th quarter was not good but in the end Raptors found a way to hang on and get the W. Back to back wins over the Spurs and Magic is impressive no matter how you cut it. Raptors showed a lot of fight in this one and as they look ahead to the Sixers they have a legit chance to get over .500 on Friday.