Led by 28 points and eight three-pointers from Ryan Anderson, the Orlando Magic dominated the Toronto Raptors Monday night, earning a 117-101 victory.
Dwight Howard added 23 points and 10 rebounds while Gary Forbes led the Raptors with 21 points.
The Magic took control from the start, scoring the game’s first 10 points and despite a couple of runs by the Raptors, they pretty much rolled from there. The Magic shot 54.3% from the floor, posted an effective field goal percentage of 63.6% and were 15-of-34 from long range. Forward Ryan Anderson made a career-high eight of those 15 three-pointers and posted 28 points, just two short of his career-high. He was open over and over again largely in part because of Dwight Howard’s early dominance. The Raptors, as expected, had no answer for Howard. The big man put up 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting and shot 70.0% from the charity stripe (7-of-10). He stuffed the stat sheet grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out three assists, blocking two shots and registering two steals.
Anderson also pulled down six boards and easily won his individual matchup with Andrew Bargnani. Bargnani, a former #1 overall pick and Toronto’s leading scorer, managed just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and only grabbed three rebounds.
It wasn’t just Howard and Anderson. Outside of Hedo Turkoglu and Quentin Richardson, every Magic played post an effective field goal percentage of 50.0% or better and only Turkoglu, Richardson and Jason Richardson shot below 50.0% from the field. Jameer Nelson may have had his best all-around and most efficient game of the season. He scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, hit two three-pointers, dished out seven assists, grabbed three rebounds and did not turn the ball over. Nelson’s backup, Chris Duhon, had seven points, two assists and also was without a turnover. Nelson looked in control throughout and really dictated the pace of the game, something he has struggled with this season.
For the game, Orlando turned the ball over just nine times.
After the game, Van Gundy was predictably upset with Orlando’s defense. The Raptors scored 101 points and went 11-of-22 from beyond the arc. Although Orlando’s defense needs some work – there were a few flukey things that happened in the game. Van Gundy pointed out one in particular – Gary Forbes, who entered the game shooting just 20.5% from beyond the arc, knocked down four treys en route to a team-high 21 points. To counter that, one could mention the Raptors were again missing their second leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan.
- Orlando’s defense also gave the Raptors fans a chance to stand. Ed Davis’s three-point play with two second left gave the Raptors 100 points, meaning each fan got a slice of pizza. After the game, Van Gundy thought the fans got a whole pizza. When he found out it was just a slice, he thought the fans should have stayed seated and clapped.
- Glen Davis continues to play better. Despite bleeding, Davis had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds. He also crashed into the floor at least four times.
- J.J. Redick was also excellent off of the bench – he had 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and dished out four assists.
Next Up: The Magic will be in New York to take on the Knicks Wednesday.
Final Thought: This is what the Magic should do against a team playing defense like that.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani, Chris Duhon, Demar Derozan, Dwight Howard, Ed Davis, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Jose Calderon, Larry Hughes, Orlando Magic, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Stan Van Gundy, Toronto Raptors, Von Wafer