Raptors destroyed by hungrier Orlando Magic

In-season tournament hopes fade with loss

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In case anyone was unsure, the Raptors got another lesson in the importance of playing defence and matching an opponent’s physicality on Tuesday night.

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The Orlando Magic didn’t just set the tone in this one, they dominated from the opening tip to the final whistle in a 126-107 win.

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The loss was the Raptors’ second in their second In-Season tournament game and pretty much ended any hopes of advancing in the league’s newest innovation. At best, they are now playing for the Eastern Conference wild card that would get them a berth in the quarter-finals but that is a longshot.

The bigger issue, though, was the complete dominance by a young Orlando team that seemed to win every battle on the court and every statistical battle on the scoresheet.

This being the first of back-to-back games with the second in Indiana Wednesday, Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic threw up the white flag early, pulling his starters with the team down 24 and still seven minutes left in the game.

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For one of the few times this year the Raptors actually shot the ball really well. And on most nights 50% from the field and 50% from the behind the arc would be enough to get them a win, but not when they turn the ball over 24 times, leading to 31 points, and not when your opponent is living in your paint and bullying you out of their own.

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Wasted in this one was a really nice shooting night from Dennis Schroder, who made all four of his three-point attempts and led the Raptors with 24 points.

Reigning rookie of the year Paolo Banchero led the physical play for the Magic and finished with a game-high 25 points.

Jalen Suggs, the Gonzaga star the Raptors took a pass on to go with Scottie Barnes a few drafts ago, came out looking to prove something. He scored early and often and punctuated every positive outcome with a celebration worthy of a game-winner. Suggs finished with 18 points and four assists.

With the loss, Toronto fell to 6-8 while Orlando improved to 9-5.

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