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DeRozan and Calderon push Toronto past Orlando
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and Jose Calderon dished out 18 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 97-86 decision over the Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre.
DeRozan pulled down a team-best nine rebounds as well while making good on 8- of-16 field goal attempts for Toronto, which broke open a close game over the final eight-plus minutes to notch just its second victory in its last seven outings. Andrea Bargnani added 17 points in the win.
The Raptors trailed 74-73 with 8:29 to play, but proceeded to outscore the Magic by a 24-12 count the rest of the way.
Glen Davis and E'Twaun Moore each finished with 16 points for an Orlando squad that played without second-leading scorer J.J. Redick due to an illness, with Davis grabbing 12 rebounds in the Magic's sixth setback in seven games.
Orlando slowly battled back from a 13-point deficit to claim a 74-73 lead when Moore knocked down a pair of free throws 3 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter, but Toronto responded with a 19-4 run that ultimately decided the outcome.
Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson ignited the surge with back-to-back 3-pointers, and Kleiza struck again from long distance to cap a spurt that ended with the Raptors owning a comfortable 92-78 advantage with 2:50 left.
Orlando would close within 94-86 with under a minute left, with Moore draining a triple and converting a conventional 3-point play shortly afterward. However, Johnson scored and was fouled on the ensuing possession, and hit the subsequent free throw with 42.3 seconds left that all but sealed the win.
"It was a very frustrating game," stated Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn, "We had to play comeback basketball. When you do that, you speed yourself up and you have turnovers."
Orlando turned the ball over 16 times for the game, with those miscues resulting in 13 Raptors' points.
Toronto was in front most of the way, taking control by embarking on a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter to grab an early 18-8 lead. The margin later swelled to 13 points after Bargnani buried a 26-footer off a Calderon pass to put the Raptors up 28-15 nearing the three-minute mark of the period.
"I thought that [Calderon] and Andrea played with that bounce and passion," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "Jose got [Bargnani] going, and our offense goes the way Andrea goes."
The Raptors maintained a double-digit advantage for much of the second quarter, though an 8-2 flurry in which Davis and Andrew Nicholson each netted four points cut the Magic's deficit to 40-35 with 4:49 to play in the half.
Toronto scored nine of the next 11 points, however, and took a 49-37 lead on DeRozan's driving bucket with 1:46 remaining prior to intermission before Orlando recorded the half's final four points.
The Magic got back in it with a strong third quarter in which they outpointed Toronto 11-4 over the initial four minutes, drawing within 53-52 on DeQuan Jones' trey with 8:06 left in the session.
Orlando would go ahead during the latter stages of the third, with Jameer Nelson recording a pair of baskets over a span of under a minute to put the Magic up 69-66, and the game stayed tight until Toronto's big fourth-quarter run.
Calderon's 18 assists were one shy of a career high set twice previously, and he's now averaged 13.5 helpers over the last four games ... Toronto finished with 34-28 edge in bench points, with Johnson scoring 15 to lead the way ... Jones started in Redick's place and returned from a five-game absence due to a groin strain ... Orlando had won all three meetings between the teams last season and lost for only the second time in its last seven visits to the Air Canada Centre.
11/18 17:57:14 ET
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