Facing off against Hedo Turkoglu‘s former team, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Toronto Raptors by the score of 112-72. The game was close for a half before the Magic outscored the Raptors by 36 points to turn things into a blowout and allow head coach Stan Van Gundy a chance to rest the starters in the fourth quarter with a game against the Houston Rockets looming later tonight. Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando, finishing with 31 points, 19 rebounds, and getting dunk after dunk throughout the evening. There was little that Toronto’s frontline could do to stop Howard on offense. Ryan Anderson continues his stellar play as of late, contributing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Redick chipped in with 12 points, while Brandon Bass had 10 points and nine rebounds.
This game was a blowout for a number of reasons.
First, as mentioned previously, the Raptors did little to prevent Howard from doing whatever he wanted offensively.
Whether it was Howard scoring with ease in 3-out/2-in offensive sets when he posted up on the low block, getting alley-oop feeds from Jameer Nelson for dunks, earning deep post position whenever he was in transition and converting on hook shots, crashing the offensive glass and racking up buckets in that manner, it was one of those nights where everything came easy for the big fella.
Second, Toronto’s interior defense was softer than toilet paper.
In total, Orlando was able to rack up 56 points in the paint. That’s a lot. Howard was a big reason for that obscene number but Bass contributed to the cause with his many forays at the rim and even Redick was able to attack the basket routinely for layups. Not only that but the Magic destroyed the Raptors on the boards, totaling 20 offensive rebounds that led to many points in the paint.
Third, Orlando was able to get out in transition and run.
Whether it was Nelson or Gilbert Arenas pushing the pace, the Magic were able to get a nice blend of threes, layups, and dunks on fast break opportunities. A lot of credit should go to Arenas, especially, because even though he continues to struggle shooting with the basketball, he was one of the main reasons that Orlando blew the game wide open in the fourth quarter.
The Magic were able to go on an 18-2 run from the onset of the period, and Arenas was directly responsible for seven of those points. On back-to-back possessions during the scoring spree, Arenas pushed the ball feverishly up the court to Redick and was able to find him for a layup and three-pointer. If there’s one thing that Arenas has right now, it’s great chemistry with Redick.
Orlando’s defense should be commended as well. Bass, in particular, deserves kudos because he was able to limit Andrea Bargnani to 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting. The last time that the Magic and Raptors faced off against each other, Bargani had a field day against Rashard Lewis but Bass was able to come in during the second half of the game and hold him to two points.
Bass was able to translate that stellar defensive play in his outing.