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Raptors 97, Magic 95

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points, including a fallaway jumper at the buzzer, to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 97-95 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night at Amway Center.

DeRozen had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including his dramatic 18-foot game-winning shot with two defenders around him.

Unheralded center Amir Johnson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had six players with at least 10 points.

The Raptors were coming off an overtime loss in Miami on Wednesday night, their third overtime loss in the previous four games.

The Magic were led by Nikola Vucevic with 19 points and 14 rebounds, although he was not much of a factor in the second half. Arron Afflalo had 16 points and Glen Davis scored 15.

The Magic outscored the Raptors, 29-22, in the fourth, but it was too little, too late. The Raptors led through much of the second half.

Orlando's J.J. Redick tied the game at 93 with :53 remaining when he completed a four-point play, his third of the season. After DeRozan scored, E'Twaun Moore tied it at 95 with 20 seconds remaining on a short jumper.

The Raptors waited for the final shot before time expired.

The Raptors led, 48-47, at intermission after Johnson and DeRozan scored back-to-back baskets before the break. Offensively, the first half was dominated by the two starting centers.

Vucevic had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Johnson had 14 points and four rebounds before halftime. The Magic led by as many as eight points and the Raptors six in a see-saw first half.

The Raptors made a 12-2 run at the end of the first quarter, a 10-5 run to close the second and a 13-5 flourish to close the third.

NOTES: Closing out tight games has been a huge problem lately for the Raptors, who lost in overtime in three of their previous four games before Thursday. Of their first 27 losses this season, they led in the fourth quarter 10 times. "In clutch situations, we have to learn how to make winning plays," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "That's part of the learning process for a young team. We don't go into any game just to be respectable. We go into every game wanting to win each and every night." ... The Magic don't have to look very far for the reason behind their recent collapse. In their first 25 games this season (12-13), they were allowing 94.4 points per game. In their next 16 games (2-14), they allowed 108.6 points per game. ... Afflalo must have adjusted his offensive focus Thursday night. He took three shots in the first three minutes, contrasting with Tuesday in Detroit, when he took no shots in his first 34 minutes. ... Davis played in his sixth consecutive game since returning from a shoulder injury, but he still hasn't returned to his early-season form when he was playing so well. "It just takes time," coach Jacque Vaughn said. "It takes time to get your rhythm and conditioning back." ... Magic reserve center Gustavo Ayon will be the guest of honor Friday at a reception at the Mexican Consulate in Orlando. ... Toronto's Andrea Bargnani, who missed his 21st consecutive game with a torn right elbow ligament, worked out on the court before the game. He appeared to be close to a return.
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