Raptors 111, Magic 108
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—The Orlando Magic locker room was quiet and mostly empty. They squandered their best start of the season and dropped the second straight in a four-game homestand that was supposed to solidify their place in the playoffs.
The Magic have lost 40 other times this season, but this one was theirs.
“I’m tired of saying we’re still in it, because at some point if you keep saying it and you keep losing you won’t be in it,” Grant Hill said.
Toronto has already clinched a playoff berth, but is still playing for a high seed.
“We are very aware that we are in the race for third place right now,” Bosh said. “Every game means something. You can’t take a day off.”
Hedo Turkoglu shook a recent shooting slump for a career-high 37 points, but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer from the wing. Turkoglu had gone a combined 6-for-25 the previous two games.
“I was feeling good the whole game. I don’t know what happened; it came out,” Turkoglu said. “But we should have taken care of business before that and not (try to) win it on last-second shots.”
Turkoglu tied the game at 106 on a 3-pointer with 3:18 left, but the Magic didn’t score for the next two minutes. Bosh hit three free throws, but was called for goaltending on Turkoglu’s layup with 47 seconds left.
Trailing 109-108, Turkoglu missed a jumper. Dwight Howard got the rebound, but Bosh drew an offensive foul on Hill.
With 9.4 seconds let, Bosh drained two foul shots to seal the win.
“I know that we have come a long way,” Bosh said. “I can count on several occasions in my mind that we were down 15 on the road and we did not capitalize on our situation.”
Both Howard and Bosh scored career highs (32 and 41 points, respectively) when these teams met in February, and both were on track for even better nights after 11-point first quarters.
But Howard didn’t score in the second or third quarters, finishing with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and Bosh slowed down in the third and fourth.
“They started double-teaming me, and I have to find open passes,” Howard said. “But I need to learn how to play with the double team.”
The Magic scored 37 points in the first quarter on 83 percent shooting, both season bests. From that point until the fourth, they couldn’t do much right.
“We hoped—knew—they wouldn’t shoot like that all night, and we picked it up defensively,” Parker said.
Orlando, which had an early 15-point lead, trailed by eight points in the third and nine in the fourth.
Toronto outscored Orlando 8-2 in the last minute of the first half, drawing to 57-52 at the break. Graham scored five of them, including a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left.
The Raptors were playing the second of a three-game road trip, coming off a three-point loss to Miami on Tuesday.
Darko Milicic was thrown out after arguing a holding call on Bosh with 3:39 left in the third quarter. Gesturing adamantly, he had to be held back by teammates. The forward had two rebounds and no points in seven minutes. Magic F Trevor Ariza fouled out with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Raptors swept the season series 4-0. … Toronto was without Andrea Bargnani, who continues to rest after a March 21 appendectomy, and Jorge Garbajosa, out for the season after left ankle surgery.