Happy Chinese New Years Everyone! Tonight the Toronto Raptors took on the Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre. After a remarkable game winner against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, Patrick Patterson was sidelined due to a fragile nose after surgery. The Raptors were also without shooting guard Demar DeRozan for the second game in a row. After Steve Novak’s disappointing game against the Nets, it was no surprise to see Greivis Vasquez fill in on the starting lineup.
The Raptors 3-point shooting was off the charts to start the game. Toronto shot a perfect 8-8 from beyond the arc in the opening quarter. Kyle Lowry knocked down five, Terrence Ross chipped in two and Vasquez with one. The Raps played strong defence, showed some hustle and shared the ball well. They had a total of nine assists and closed the quarter with a 33-20 lead.
We saw much of the same to start the second quarter with Vasquez dropping another three followed by a couple more from Novak. Things continued to click as the Raps continued to pass the ball around and acquire good looks from the whole line up. Defensively, Toronto kept Orlando out of rhythm. They limited the Magic to only 40 points to close the half and never allowing them to rally any type of run.
Throughout the third and fourth quarter, the Raptors kept their lead and overall the game seemed to be a casual win. With such style of play, Dwayne Casey could have subbed his starters out earlier and given the bench some opportunities, especially if John Salmons was only going to hit one basket during 23 minutes of play. However, this was a must needed win from the Raptors with a final score of 98-83. Jonas Valanciunas had his third straight double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds. As well, Amir Johnson was right behind him with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Kyle Lowry made a good case to be an all star with 33 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. We'll find out tomorrow!
Sarah’s Eye: Poor fans didn’t get their free pizza tonight due to one basket. As a student, I can understand their pain.