Magic have no answer for Raptors, Watson
Anthony returns to lineup with Bamba, Carter-Williams out
The Orlando Magic just can’t seem to solve the Toronto Raptors. Of course, the Magic probably didn’t expect Paul Watson to play more like Paul Pierce.
Watson drained eight 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 30 points as the Raptors pulled away from the Magic in the second half to post a 113-102 victory on Friday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, the Raptors’ homecourt this season due to Canada’s COVID-19 protocols.
Orlando absorbed its eighth straight regular-season loss against Toronto. Counting the 2019 playoffs, the Magic are 1-12 in their past 13 games against the Raptors.
Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 20 points to lead the Magic (18-38), who couldn’t build off Wednesday’s road win over the Bulls. Cole Anthony posted 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists as he returned to the Orlando starting lineup while Chuma Okeke had 14 points but just two in the second half.
Watson nearly eclipsed his previous career-high of 22 points in the third quarter when he went 7-for-8 from the field and 6-of-7 from the 3-point line and scored 20 points.
Yuta Watanabe added 21 points as Toronto (23-34) outscored Orlando 53-36 in bench points.
Watson and Watanabe were a combined 17-of-24 from the field.
The Magic used a 13-2 run over the last 2:48 to build a 51-47 halftime lead as Carter and Okeke combined for 28 points on 10-of
Orlando pushed its lead to six on a dunk by Okeke early in the third before Watson got the Raptors rolling. He hit six 3s and scored 20 points to spark a 29-8 run over a 6:34 stretch that produced a 76-61 advantage. At one point, Watson accounted for 69% of the Raptors’ point total in the quarter.
The Magic couldn’t gain any traction in the fourth quarter to carve anything significant from the Raptors’ lead.
Orlando played without Michael Carter-Williams (ankle sprain), Mo Bamba (left hip contusion) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot pain).
The Magic return to Amway Center to take on the Houston Rockets on Sunday. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Florida.