Raptors at Magic
The Orlando Magic were within a game of .500 on Dec. 19 after winning five of seven. However, they lost forward Glen Davis to a shoulder injury in a win over Washington, and two days later suffered a 93-90 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Including that setback, the Magic have lost 12 of 14 games as they prepare to host the Raptors on Thursday night. The worst loss of the slide also came at the hands of Toronto, which crushed Orlando 123-88 at the Amway Center on Dec. 29.
The Raptors also defeated the Magic in the first meeting between the teams on Nov. 18. In order to complete the season sweep, Toronto will need to muster up some energy after losing in overtime for the third time in four games Wednesday in Miami. Alan Anderson led the way with 20 points. The Raptors had just eight turnovers in 53 minutes and made 14-of-31 3-pointers (45.2 percent), but were outrebounded by a whopping 53-29 margin.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), Fox Sports Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (15-27): Only three other NBA teams have played as many overtime games as Toronto's six, and the Raptors have a double-overtime game and a triple-overtime affair on their docket. They are 1-5 in such contests. Eight of their players saw at least 24 minutes of action against the Heat. In addition to Anderson, six others reached double figures. It was Toronto's fifth loss in six games since a 10-3 stretch.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (14-27): Nobody can blame J.J. Redick for Orlando's latest defeat, a 105-90 loss in Detroit on Tuesday. Redick made his first seven shots, four of them 3-pointers, and finished with 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting. But keeping with a troublesome trend, the Magic struggled to make stops when it mattered most. "We were shooting 60 percent from the floor and 50 percent on threes, and we were still down two at the half," head coach Jacque Vaughn said. "That shows you that it boiled down to the matter of stopping the other team."
1. The Raptors are 2-9 on the front end of back-to-backs, but 5-5 on the back end.
2. Redick is averaging 21 points in five road games this month against 12.2 in five home games.
3. Magic PF Davis was 4-for-15 from the floor in the first half alone against Detroit. He picked up a technical foul from the bench in the third quarter and played sparingly after that, putting up just one shot after halftime.
PREDICTION: Magic 104, Raptors 98