The Orlando Magic have used their depth to dominate the season series with the Toronto Raptors. Pulling off the sweep might not come easy, however, with Chris Bosh(notes) helping the Raptors play their best basketball of the season.
Orlando looks to beat Toronto for the fourth time in barely more than two months Wednesday night at Amway Arena, while the Raptors try to ride Bosh to their seventh win in eight games overall.
Southeast Division-leading Orlando (24-10) has had little problem dispatching Toronto so far this season, winning the first three meetings by an average of 12.0 points. The Magic, who have four players scoring at least 10.0 points per game overall, have eight averaging in double figures against the Raptors.
Rashard Lewis(notes) was one of six Orlando players with at least 12 points in a 118-99 home victory over Toronto in the teams’ last meeting Dec. 16. Lewis scored a game-high 21 and made five 3-pointers as the Magic shot a season-high 57.3 percent from the field.
As convincing as that victory was, the Magic shouldn’t necessarily expect another blowout against a Raptors team that has a chance to reach .500 for the first time since it was 5-5 on Nov. 15.
Bosh scored 22 points Sunday, passing current Magic guard Vince Carter(notes) as the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer with 9,428 points and helping Toronto (17-18) defeat San Antonio 91-86 for its sixth win in seven games. The Raptors’ only loss in that stretch came Saturday, when they fell 103-96 at Eastern Conference-leading Boston.
“I was thinking it would be really nice to set the record and everything, but I wanted to win, that was the main focus of the whole game,” said Bosh, who added 15 rebounds against the Spurs for his 25th double-double in 35 games. “It makes it that much better.”
“He’s been an All-Star for years and he’s been a great player, too,” Duncan said. “It’s a great accomplishment for him and I know he’s proud of that fact. He’s had this team on his shoulders for a long time.”
Bosh is averaging 23.7 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent in 2009-10 - all career highs. He’s averaging 26.3 points over his last four games, and shooting 58.1 percent during Toronto’s 6-1 stretch.
While the Raptors are thriving, the Magic have dropped consecutive games to teams with losing records. After falling 101-93 at Chicago on Saturday, they shot 38.4 percent and committed 20 turnovers in a 97-90 loss at Indiana on Tuesday night.
“Look, we’re just playing terrible, we really are,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Offensively, it’s just really bad right now. We can’t score, we can not score. I need to look at everything, playing different guys, I don’t know. It’s just not working in the least.”
This will be the second game back in Orlando for Hedo Turkoglu(notes), who signed with Toronto in the offseason after five seasons with the Magic. Turkoglu, averaging 15.0 points and shooting 41.9 percent in three total games against his former club, made his return to Orlando in December, getting a big ovation during introductions before boos drowned out the cheers for most of the game.
“Anybody who’s booing him really can’t be a Magic fan,” said Van Gundy, whose team advanced to the NBA finals with Turkoglu last season. “We wouldn’t have gotten to where we got to last year without him.”