The Raptors 905 used a 4th quarter rally to erase a 15-point lead and fended off the Lakeland Magic’s attempt to steal the game back. Reggie Perry’s game-winning three-pointer sealed it the Raptors 905, defeating the Magic, 112-109.
Reggie Perry came off the bench to lead the Raptors 905 with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 3PM. Justin Champagnie added his own double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and two steals. However, the five-man lineup of Kevon Harris-Breein Tyree-Aaron Best-Justin-Smith-Reggie Perry fueled the comeback. Their defensive intensity, working around the concepts of zone defense perplexed the Magic. Isaac Bonga was hampered with foul trouble throughout the game, but was a non-factor offensively.
Kevon Harris imposed his will late in the third and fourth quarters. He finished with 19 points and only one assist, but his drive-and-kick game was instrumental in opening up the floor for his teammates. Breein Tyree scored 20 points. 12 of them came in the fourth period.
Lakeland Magic’s Jeff Dowtin almost had a perfect game, leading all scorers with 33 points on 13-for-14 shooting, including 7 3FGM. I really don’t know what the Magic’s coach is thinking, by making the hottest hand in the game the inbounder for the last play of the game. The Raptors 905 survived BJ Johnson’s scoring barrage early in the game, with 28 of his 31 points in the first half. The Raptors 905 did a good job shutting Johnson down, but it came with an assist from the Magic’s coach, who played him sparingly in crunch time. Speaking of BJ Johnson and Jeff Dowtin, they have the length, quickness, and perimeter shooting that the Raptors can use, in case they decide to move on from Armoni Brooks.
Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W), Justin Champagnie (2W), Ashton Hagans, Kevon Harris
Lakeland Magic: Ignas Brazdekis, Admiral Schofield, Jon Teske, Jeff Dowtin, Devin Cannady
Raptors 905: Isaac Bonga (NBA), David Johnson (2W)
Lakeland Magic: Ignas Brazdekis (2W), Admiral Schofield (2W)
Both teams started trading baskets and defensive stops, but the visiting team got the first run of the game with Reggie Perry’s basket completing a Raptors 905 6-0 run to put them ahead, 13-8. The Raptors 905’s defense looked good early and forced the Lakeland Magic to call a timeout, as they could not inbound the ball under the basket. However, the Magic found their range, starting with Jeff Dowtin, who made their first perimeter shot. Perry answered with his own, but the Raptors’ offense stalled, unable to hit from the perimeter. It also didn’t help for the Raptors 905 that Magic’s BJ Johnson erupted off the bench to score 8 straight points, capping a 13-5 run to finish the quarter, with the Magic taking a 24-20 lead after the first period.
The Raptors 905’s offensive futility stretched through the second quarter, going scoreless for over four minutes since Justin Smith’s basket late in the first period. Perry’s corner trifecta broke the rough stretch, and luckily for coach Patrick Mutombo, the Magic failed to capitalize, or so I thought. The Raptors 905 coughed up the ball several times — unforced turnovers, and it allowed the Magic to go on an 11-0 run, again, behind BJ Johnson’s scoring barrage, putting the Magic up 37-23.
The Magic’s run was briefly halted when Breein Tyree found Champagnie at the dunker’s spot, who swiftly used the rim to protect his shot, going for a reverse layup. However, BJ Johnson’s on fire, hitting a top-of-the-key trifecta to give the Magic its biggest lead to 15. David Johnson finally got on the board, hitting a three-pointer off a SLOB play. That play triggered an 11-0 run punctuated by a couple of Chamapagnie’s hustle plays, cutting the Magic’s lead to 42-38. Canadian Ignas Brazdekis broke that run with his three-pointer for the Magic, sparking a Magic 8-0 run capped by BJ Johnson’s dunk as Kevon Harris gambled for a steal.
Tyree’s coast-to-coast expeditions were fruitful, leading to his “And-1” and a putback by Perry. Unfortunately, the Raptors 905’s poor perimeter shooting haunted them the entire time, going for 3-20, while the Magic closed the half with a three-pointer at the buzzer and a 56-45 lead at the half.
Aaron Best started for David Johnson in the second half due to issues with his left knee, but that did not slow down the Raptors 905 right off the gate. a Quick 8-2 run cut the Magic’s lead to 58-53. Schofield’s trifecta put the Magic’s lead back to eight, but Champagnie’s 3 cuts it back to five, and Harris’ layup got them to 65-62, the closest they have been since 26-23. It looks like the momentum is slowly shifting towards the Raptors 905’s side, but their sloppy play, combined with the Magic’s three-point shooting, put the lead back up to 73-64. Dowtin and Gravett continued their perimeter onslaught, pushing the lead back up to 15 late in the third period. It was starting to look like a blowout for the Magic, but the Raptors 905 gutted through with an 11-5 finish to the quarter, keeping themselves in the game heading into the fourth, 86-77.
Harris opened up the final frame with a floater, starting a 14-3 run, to take a 91-89 lead — their first lead since the first quarter. The Raptors 905’s zone defense stymied the Magic’s offense and rhythm, but it was Harris’ drive and kick game that got the Raptors 905 going offensively. Brazdekis and Dowtin went on a mini-run to take a 93-91 lead, but a pretty BLOB to get Tyree, the inbounder, a three-pointer put the Raptors 905 up, 94-93.
Harris would put the Raptors 905 up 100-95, and Champagnie had an opportunity to put some distance between the two teams on a fastbreak attempt, but he turned the ball over. Brazdekis’ pull-up three-pointer cut the lead to 100-98 with just over three minutes to go, and Schofield followed it up with his second three-pointer to take a 101-100 lead for the Magic.
Bonga’s putback put the Raptors 905 back up by one, and Perry forced a Magic turnover inbounding the ball. Unfortunately, the Magic clamped the Raptors 905’s half-court offense on the next play. Dowtin produced a pick-six off a block on Tyree’s three-pointer that led to a fastbreak layup, putting the Magic up, 103-102 with less than two minutes to go. Perry and Champagnie forced Schofield to a turnover, and coach Mutombo called Champagnie’s number to go ISO against the 7’1” Jon Teske on the left block. Champagnie muscled his way for a layup, putting the Raptors 905 up, 104-103 with 70 seconds to go.
Brazdekis got past Bonga and tried to put Perry on a poster, but Perry drew an offensive foul! Harris and Perry worked their PnR from the top of the key. Harris kept Cannady on his hip, waiting for Perry to slip behind the defense, and hit Perry, who made a hook shot, giving the raptors a 106-103 lead. Schofield missed a three-pointer, and the Magic had to send Harris to the line with 19 seconds left.
Harris split the freebies, but never doubt Dowtin, who made a contested three-pointer over Perry’s fingertips. The Magic sent Tyree to the line with 11 seconds to go, and he made both freebies to put the raptors 905 up, 109-106. The Magic inbounded from under the Raptors 905 basket with one thing in mind — get the scorching Dowtin a shot behind the arc. Dowtin used a double screen by Brazdekis and Schofield, but Champagnie read the play and pushed him closer to the half-court. Dowtin turned the corner towards his weak hand and pulled up for a trifecta over a good contest by Champagnie, tying the game at 109 with three seconds to go.
Coach Mutombo called for a timeout and drew a SLOB with Bonga as the inbounder. Harris moved across the free-throw line via Tyree and Perry’s double screens, but it was a ruse! Harris dragged both Brazdekis and Kennedy to him, allowing Perry to pop to the top of the key. Cannady was too late and too short of making it matter for Perry, who nailed the game-winner.
The game was over when: The Magic technically had 0.8 seconds left, and they used a reset timeout to get a shot off. The Magic chose to make Jeff Dowtin, their hot hand inbound the ball, and go with other options instead.
Up Next: The Raptors 905 head back home to host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on March 17th.