It will be known as the OG Game.
The Toronto Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic 112-101 Sunday evening, improving to 58-22 on the year, and finishing 34-7 at home on the season. Anunoby led all starters with a career-high 21 points, eight rebounds and a block in 34 minutes.
In a game that didn’t have any implications, the Raptors came out of the gates relatively energetic — running the floor and making crisp passes around the perimeter. Despite the early scare from Norm Powell’s left ankle sprain, Toronto was able to sustain a quick pace on offense and burn the nets to the tune of 57 percent shooting, holding a 35-24 lead heading into the second.
OG Anunoby was a featured part of that offense for Toronto from the start, hitting two of his first four long-range shots en route to a six-point, three-rebound first quarter.
Starting in place of Jonas Valanciunas, Bebe Nogueira was all over the court before sitting the rest of the game with a hamstring injury. He was the recipient of a beaming Lowry pass for the first points of the game, and also had a beautiful dish to Delon Wright in the corner for an open triple.
It was supposed to be Bebe’s late-season opportunity to illustrate his effectiveness on the court — instead, he would end up hamstrung. He finished the game with four points, two boards and an assist in six minutes.
GoDaddy the only thing that can stop Norm https://t.co/ABUrC3EqYq— John Gaudes (@johngaudes) April 8, 2018
It ended up being quite the return to form for Miles — who came into Sunday’s game shooting 21.6 percent from three in his previous eight games. The first-quarter ball-movement intensified in the early second-quarter bench minutes, and at one point the Raptors had a 75 percent assist rate (12 assists on 16 made field goals).
Serge Ibaka continued his recent string of strong performances, playing great defense and grabbing four first half rebounds to go with five points and two blocks. Ibaka worried many fans with his poor-shooting month of March, however he’s turned his play around over the last four games, and looks as ready as ever for the playoffs to begin.
Blocked by Baka Vol 9 pic.twitter.com/GFHnJKGH6c— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 8, 2018
Along with the Powell and Nogueira injuries, Fred VanVleet left the game with what was reported as back tightness, and he would not return. Powell would re-enter in the second quarter and go on to finish with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in just 22 minutes.
The Raptors held a comfortable lead for most of the first half, and entered half-time with a 61-50 advantage — but not before an extremely questionable foul call on an Aaron Gordon three-point attempt at the buzzer. Miles led the way with 14 points at the half, followed by Anunoby and Poeltl with nine apiece.
Since returning from injury, Anunoby has regained his early season shooting touch, putting up 53 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep over his last 11 games. He showed off a few more moves tonight, including this gem late in the first half:
OG steal, layup, and1 #wethenorth pic.twitter.com/92oU5WZ0zN— Sam Holako (@rapsfan) April 8, 2018
As a whole, the Raptors looked pristine on both ends (aside from nine first half turnovers), shooting 51-46-85 from the floor, and dishing out a total of 13 assists on 20 made baskets, including ten three-pointers. The Magic, meanwhile, shot just 20 percent from deep on ten attempts and struggled to find rhythm on offense — which, admittedly, isn’t that great to begin with.
Former Raptor Terrence Ross, who played in his first game since a November knee surgery, shot 1-of-5 for three points in ten minutes off the bench.
It wouldn’t be the last we heard from Anunoby, however. The rookie would turn in an 11-point third quarter, while shooting 5-of-8 from deep and 7-of-10 for the game. Tonight could be seen as a break-out of sorts for Anunoby, as he was heavily relied upon from the get-go with DeRozan sitting, and he capitalized on the opportunity to the highest degree.
The offense overall continued to be lights out after halftime, as the team shot 5-of-10 from deep and dished out ten more assists in the the third, outscoring the Magic 28-24 to take a 15-point lead heading into the final frame — one which featured more of the same.
Toronto blitzed out to a 19-point lead within minutes of the fourth quarter, and the game simply became a scrimmage for the specific players that were hoping to find a groove before the playoffs.
Whether it was Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam, C.J. Miles, Delon Wright, OG Anunoby or Norm Powell (take your pick), those players whom the team will need the most in the postseason collectively had a fantastic game.
Ibaka finished with 13 points, eight boards, three blocks and a couple of assists in 31 minutes, finishing with a +22 net rating. Wright was doing it all off the short bench, stuffing the stat-sheet with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Miles led all scorers with 22 points on 5-of-10 from deep.
The Raptors made 17-of-40 three-pointers on the night and dished out 28 total assists, while holding the Magic to just 30 percent from three.
Ball game. Raps win! pic.twitter.com/ya1XgOriv2— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 9, 2018
It was one of those good old-fashioned Raptors beat-downs that we all enjoyed so much back in February. Two games left!