Raptors look to maintain hold on Magic with 9th straight series win

·3 min read

The Toronto Raptors will be out to continue their domination over the visiting Orlando Magic on Friday night when they play their fourth game in five nights.

The Magic have lost eight consecutive regular-season games to the Raptors, last winning 113-98 at Toronto on Feb. 24, 2019. They have lost 28 of the past 33 overall to the Raptors.

While the Raptors were losing 108-106 to the visiting Detroit Pistons on Thursday night, the Magic had the day off after splitting home games against the Indiana Pacers on Monday and Wednesday.

The Raptors were without OG Anunoby (finger), Fred VanVleet (knee) and Thaddeus Young (illness, not related to COVID-19).

They do have some clarity on Anunoby. After considering whether he could play through a non-displaced fracture in the ring finger of his right hand, it has been decided to let the injury fully heal before he returns to the court. That could take about two more weeks.

Anunoby had played some games with the injury before it was discovered. Raptors coach Nick Nurse indicated that it was an easy decision to keep Anunoby on the sideline.

"I thought it was probably likely once we got the X-ray and there was a fracture in it, that it would probably need to be rested," Nurse said. "Just want to get him healthy and not take any chances with it."

Nurse was not around at the finish of the loss to the Pistons. He was ejected after two technical fouls were called on him with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter; he had argued a foul call on Dalano Banton.

"I saw the replay, which probably wasn't good for me to see," Nurse said.

When the two technical foul shots and the one free throw were made, Detroit led by 18 points.

The Raptors missed Anunoby and VanVleet in dropping the three-game season series to the Pistons and former Toronto coach Dwane Casey for the second successive season.

"Two of our better shooters, for sure," Nurse said. "Just missing a bunch of scoring there, I think in general, playmaking, scoring. You can kind of throw Thad (Young) into that, too. He's been in double digits off the bench, pretty reliable the last three games. Could have used that tonight as well."

Gary Trent Jr. struggled, scoring 14 points after shooting 4-for-23 from the floor (3-for-15 from 3-point range).

Toronto shot 43.4 percent (36-for-83), including 26.9 (7-for-26) from 3-point range,

Rookie Scottie Barnes continued to excel with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Pascal Siakam had 28 points and Precious Achiuwa added 18 points off the bench.

The Magic lost 122-114 in overtime to the Pacers on Wednesday to settle for the split.

"They understood what they had to do to get back in the game," Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. "They got more aggressive, turned up the heat a little bit and we turned the ball over a couple of times."

The Pacers outscored the Magic 34-19 in the fourth quarter and led 109-106 with 1:22 to play in regulation.

"Part of it was our execution on offense, not moving the ball as well," said Franz Wagner, who had 28 points. "We had some sloppy turnovers and they got out and ran and got a couple of easy ones. They're good in transition."

--Field Level Media