John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Toronto Raptors got their third win of the season beating the Orlando Magic this afternoon, but like all of their matches this year, it wasn't easy.
On paper, this should have been an easy win.
And while the Toronto Raptors came away with a 97 to 86 win, this was no walk in the park.
The Dinos lead at half but stumbled offensively in the third quarter and the Magic actually headed into the match's final period, slightly ahead on the scoreboard. DeMar DeRozan (20 points and a team-high 9 rebounds) and Jose Calderon (9 points and 18 of the Raptors' 22 assists on the day) were giving it their all to get the team back in the win column, but they needed some help. And of course with guys like Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields out, and Andrea Bargnani (7 of 19 on the afternoon) continuing to struggle, that meant someone on the bench had to represent the tipping point.
Enter Amir Johnson and Linas Kleiza.
Both had relatively quiet first halves, but boy did they turn it on in the fourth quarter.
They combined for 24 of the Raptors' 30 fourth quarter points, and made hustle play after hustle play at both ends to secure this win.
Johnson even hit a three-pointer!
With most other statistical categories fairly even (although the Raps were pretty awful from the charity stripe again), the play of these two indeed put the club over the top, giving the club a huge win before heading on the road.
The Raps now play 10 of their next 12 on the road so getting a W was crucial to say the least.