Magic lose to host Raptors despite 45 points from starting backcourt of Anthony and Suggs

Toronto’s Scottie Barnes and Orlando’s Jalen Suggs are not only two of the top rookies in the NBA this season but also longtime friends. On the court, the two put on a show Friday night, scoring a combined 42 points but it was Barnes and the host Raptors who came away with a 110-109 win over Suggs and the Magic.

Barnes, the former Florida State guard and Montverde Academy alum, finished with a team-high 21 points and was one of five Raptors to score in double digits along with Gary Trent Jr. (19 points), Fred VanVleet (19) and OG Anunoby (16).

Suggs, meanwhile, finished with a season-high 21 points, including 7 points in the third quarter.

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The Magic erased a 12-point Raptors’ lead to get within 110-109 with 5 seconds left in the game but Cole Anthony’s half-court heave after a deflection wasn’t enough.

“That’s the thing about this team; that’s who we are,” said Magic coach Jamahl Mosley. “We’re going to keep fighting until that final horn goes off. I’m so proud of these guys. We talk about them growing and developing and getting better and that’s why they’re in at that moment to not be afraid of the moment.”

It was the third straight loss for Orlando, which dropped to 1-5.

It was a showcase of three of the top eight players selected in the 2021 NBA Draft with Barnes (4th pick), Suggs (5th) and Orlando’s Franz Wagner (8th). Wagner finished with 10 points.


Mo Bamba posted his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 18 rebounds while adding 5 assists.

“Tonight, was tough as far as not being in the win column,” said Bamba. “But we grew as a team tonight.”

Anthony had 24 points, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range, while Wendell Carter Jr. followed up his season-high 20 points against Charlotte Wednesday by scoring 17 points including 11 in the second quarter.

It was the third 20-plus point performance for Anthony, who had a season-high 29 points in the Magic’s win over host New York a week ago.

“I feel pretty solid but I’ve got a way to go,” said Anthony. “I can just keep getting better and keep helping the team get better.”


The Magic led by as many as 7 points in the first quarter but Toronto went on a 9-0 run to secure an early 23-20 lead. The Raptors were able to extend their advantage to as many as 6 with Barnes scoring 10 points in the period.

Barnes’ performance drew rave reviews from the Magic.

“He’s a competitor. He’s tough. He plays with a high motor, a great amount of energy and he’s so versatile,” said Mosley.

Added Bamba, “I’m a fan of basketball so I want to see him succeed and see how he flourishes here in Toronto.”

Orlando battled back in the third quarter with the help of Suggs and Bamba and regained the lead heading into the final quarter. But the miscues continued to haunt the Magic, who turned the ball over four times in a matter of two minutes as Toronto went on an 11-0 run to retake the lead, 90-80.


Orlando continued to struggle with ball security, turning the ball over 17 times including 4 times in the final quarter. The Magic are one of the most turnover-prone teams in the NBA, averaging 17 turnovers per game.

The was the first of a three-game road trip for the Magic, who travel to Detroit on Saturday to take on the host Pistons before wrapping things up against the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday.

The Magic have played four of their first six games away from Orlando and are 1-3 on the road.

The challenge for Mosley has been getting the most out of limited practice time with a young team that’s played six games in nine days.


“We look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to find different ways to teach and an opportunity to find ways to help these guys get better,” Mosley said before the game. “The other day, for instance, we did small video sessions where we couldn’t get on the court and those are important because you get to you allow the guys to use their voices. You allow the veterans to communicate with some of the young guys about things they’re seeing and we’re seeing as a staff. It allows everyone to have a voice in just a different setting versus coaching at them and allowing them to help them learn a little bit faster.”

This article first appeared on Email Matt Murschel at or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.