PREVIEW: Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors trying to find much-needed win
Jan 29, 2021; Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.; LA Clippers center Serge Ibaka (ideal) guards versus Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the 3rd quarter at Amway Center. Necessary Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
It will be a case of two groups frantically in need of a win when the Orlando Magic go to the Toronto Raptors at Tampa on Sunday.
The Magic have actually lost 2 in a row and 10 of their previous 12 games, while the Raptors have lost 3 straight and 4 of their previous 6.
” It’s really discouraging when you try and try and not a lot of great comes out of it,” Magic center Nikola Vucevic said after scoring 10 points in a 116-90 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. “We’re simply not really great right now.”
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The Raptors, who have won the past five conferences between the groups, lost 126-124 to the Sacramento Kings at house Friday in spite of a strong fourth-quarter rally.
” The distinction between a winning group and a losing group is not as big a gap as you would believe,” stated Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who scored 26 points. “Not one time this year have we been in a video game where it feels unfathomable that we could win. It’s just the little things we have to do at a greater level. That’s what makes a good group.”
The Raptors, who trailed by 18 points late in the 3rd quarter Friday, got to within one with 1:08 remaining on a basket by Yuta Watanabe.
Sacramento then increased by five and VanVleet’s 3-pointer ended the game. Pascal Siakam, who matched his season best with 32 points, missed out on a crucial free throw with 37.9 seconds left.
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But it was at the other end of the court that led to the loss.
” We were not linked on defense,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
” I believe we’ve got to improve at communicating,” said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who scored 17 points before being ejected on a technical foul with 4 seconds left. “We change defenses a lot, coach throws things at us on the fly, and our interaction simply isn’t at the level that it must be. … in some cases we do not talk enough, we’re not loud enough.’
” I think they were taking it best to the front of the rim on us,” Nurse included. “We weren’t doing an excellent job of managing the ball. There wasn’t the early assistance. Late aid was a little late as well.”
The Raptors lacked Norman Powell (ideal quadriceps contusion) and OG Anunoby (left calf strain) on Friday.
Both gamers did specific workouts on Saturday, however the team ruled Anunoby out later in the day and noted Powell as skeptical.
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The Magic won their very first four games of the season and have struggled since.
” We’re not making progress, and we have to be able to do that,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “We have actually got to hang in there. The simple thing to do would be to give up. I do not believe we’ll do that. The only thing you can do in this league when things aren’t going your way is work and compete. That’s it. Those are the 2 magic words. That’s what we have to be secured on.”
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Terrence Ross led the Magic with 24 points on Friday.
” Often you just require to win a video game, and that’s where we’re at right now,” Clifford said. “We require to find a method to regroup (Sunday), get ourselves in a better place psychologically. We need to find a method not to play well, we require to find a way to win.”