AP Photo/Reinhold Matay
7-11 FG | 5-9 FT | 15 REB | 3 BLK | 19 PTS | +5
Howard has yet to have a dominant game on offense this season but that’ll come in due time. Van Gundy’s decision to employ Howard in pick-and-rolls in the fourth quarter was a game-changer, as it forced the Toronto Raptors to scramble around to account for the big fella while also covering the Orlando Magic’s shooters on the perimeter. That’s what Howard’s presence allows.
9-16 FG | 5-8 3P | 2 AST | 5 REB | 24 PTS | +16
Anderson will look at the stat-sheet and be happy that he produced yet again in a victory for the Magic. But on the flipside, Andrea Bargnani scored 28 points, with most of that coming against Anderson. When Van Gundy says that Anderson can do more aside from scoring, that’s what he means. Anderson did do a better job of containing Bargnani in the fourth quarter though.
6-10 FG | 3-5 3P | 3 AST | 3 REB | 21 PTS | +26
Single game plus/minus numbers don’t always depict an accurate picture because of their inherent noisiness. That being said, Redick was a game-high +26 and that number couldn’t have been more accurate. For nearly every minute that he was on the floor, something good was happening for Orlando. That’s the beauty of having a high IQ player on the roster.
6-14 FG | 2-5 3P | 7 AST | 2 REB | 15 PTS | +8
It’s still early but Magic fans may need to start dusting off the “Mr. Fourth Quarter” nickname and start using it again. Turkoglu’s fallaway three-pointer, after trying to draw a foul on DeMar DeRozan, was one of the highlights of the game as it gave Orlando a 91-89 lead, which they never relinquished. You can see Turkoglu is playing with confidence right now.
The Raptors should be given credit for playing a well-executed game, thanks to head coach Dwane Casey. One of the keys to Toronto’s loss? Free-throws. The Raptors shot 14-of-14 from the free-throw line in the third quarter to pad a double-digit lead. Toronto only shot four free-throws in the fourth quarter. When the Magic’s defense tightened up, that was all she wrote.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.