Balanced Orlando Magic attack sink Toronto Raptors 103-97

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Published March 4, 2022 at 10:36 pm

Jalen Suggs scored 13 points and dished out seven assists to lead a balanced attack as the Orlando Magic defeated the Toronto Raptors 103-97 in an offensively-challenged game Friday night at Scotiabank Arena.

Seven different Magic (16-48) players scored in double-digits as they came away with the win despite shooting just 37.9 per cent from the field.

Toronto connected on just 39.8 per cent of its field-goal attempts.

Pascal Siakam had a double-double, scoring a game-high 34 points and collecting 14 rebounds for the Raptors (34-29), who have lost their second game in as many days. Toronto went 1-2 on its three-game homestand.

Malachi Flynn had 20 points with eight assists filling in as the Raptors starting point guard for the injured Fred VanVleet.

Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. had four points as his outside shooting slump continued. Trent went 0-for-9 on three-point attempts. He now has only made six of his last 69 three-pointers.

Suggs went fifth overall in the 2021 NBA draft, one spot behind Raptors rookie, and childhood friend, Scottie Barnes, who finished Friday’s game with 10 points.

In the lead-up to that draft there was speculation that the Raptors would take Suggs with the fourth-overall selection. Instead they took Barnes, who was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for February.

Franz Wagner, the Magic’s other prized rookie, who went eighth overall in the 2021 draft, finished with 11 points. 

The Raptors had won their last nine regular-season contests against the Magic, who entered Friday’s game with the worst record in the NBA.

In what was an otherwise poor offensive showing throughout the game, the Magic found their shooting stroke in the fourth quarter, going 11-of-22 from the field for the win.

The struggling Raptors offence didn’t hit the 50-point mark until there was 3:46 left to play in the third quarter when Siakam made a pair of free throws.

Orlando ended the second quarter on a 16-9 run as it carried a 48-39 lead at the half.

Both teams combined to make just 34.8 per cent of their attempts from the field.

Thaddeus Young returned to the lineup for the Raptors after a one-game absence with a non-COVID illness. The veteran forward, who was acquired by Toronto at the trade deadline, had two points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes of action coming off the bench.

All-star guard VanVleet and forward OG Anunoby missed their fourth and sixth games, respectively. VanVleet is dealing with soreness in his right knee, while Anunoby has a fracture in his right right ring finger.

Toronto begins a six-game, 10-day road trip on Sunday in Cleveland. Following that, the team will visit five Western Conference opponents starting Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs.

— Steven Loung, The Canadian Press

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