If you missed the game tonight, no, that’s not a typo up there.

The Raptors came up short against the Bobcats despite a good effort on Wednesday, so we were at the point where we were all thinking even a good effort all year long couldn’t get this team much more than 20 wins.

It certainly couldn’t get them a win in Orlando…absolutely not. And even if an admirable effort had them in a close game against the Magic, there is no way anybody on this Raptors team could make the big shot, let alone take it, right?

Here’s what happened tonight in a nutshell.

The Raps and Magic come out of the gate flying, and Orlando had a 9-5 lead less than three minutes into the game, on 4-4 shooting. It looked like we were in for an offensive showcase from both teams, and that the Magic would ultimately pull away and run.

Jay Triano then called what might have been the timeout of the season so far. An unexpected early timeout with his team down only four, it seemed innocent enough. But what that timeout did was halt a Magic offence that was ready to roll. It never fully clicked again all night.

After that point, the Raptors outplayed the Magic and matched them shot for shot, blow by blow. Neither team was able to pull away until the Raps opened up a seven point lead after three, and eventually a 10-point lead early in the fourth.

Admit it; you assumed the Raptors would either shoot themselves in the foot and find a way to lose, or the Magic would simply find a way to shoot themselves past a helpless Toronto team.

Orlando did make their expected run, and a three-pointer from Mickael Pietrus tied the game with less than 30 seconds left.

And then it happened. With every Raptors fan across Canada already breaking down how the Raps let another one slip, Jarrett Jack pulled the defence toward him, then dished to Sonny Weems, who knocked down a clutch three-pointer.

The Magic didn’t even get an attempt at a tying shot, as they did their best late-game Raptors impression by turning it over on the inbound.

I will say this. There were moments in the fourth quarter when bounces around the rim seemed to favour the Raptors for the first time this season, and I kind of had a funny feeling at that point. Up until then, I was definitely one of the many expecting 1-8 after tonight.

Lastly, give this young team credit tonight, and give Jay Triano and the coaching staff credit. Some will blow it off as simply, “Orlando didn’t come to play or under-estimated the Raptors.” But if we are going to lay it on this team when the effort isn’t there, then we should commend them when they play over their heads for a full 48 minutes and get a stunning result like this.

Wow, nearly 500 words and no mention of Vince Carter?

From one “He Who Shall Not Be Named” to another, Miami is up next tomorrow night.

Raptors Player of the Game: DeMar DeRozan – 40 Min, 26 Pts, 8-13 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 10-12 FT, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl (DeRozan played the game of his NBA life)

Magic Player of the Game: Mickael Pietrus - 30 Min, 24 Pts, 8-11 FG, 8-11 3Pt, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Goat of the Game: Quentin Richardson – 18 Min, 8 Pts, 3-8 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 4 Reb, 1 Stl

Comments (6)

  1. Derozan getting to the line 12 times! plus seven boards and the other stats. nice to see….

  2. said it once gonna say it again…im loving the demar and andrea duo. I missed the game..was SHOCKED to hear the raps up 3 with 7 secbds left.

  3. Was a wonderful game to watch. I was glad that the Raps got this one. It would have been pretty devestating to see them lose last night. See you soon CB

  4. This was a game where I felt, finally, that the officiating was on our side. There were a number of calls against the Magic that were questionable. Brandon Bass got called for an offensive foul for standing still with the ball because a Raptors player ran into him. Carter got called for a foul on Derozan on a jumper where it appeared there was little contact. Also, Carter got called for a foul on Demar on a fast-break where there was basically no contact. Dwight Howard got called for three seconds in the key after Joey Dorsey bear-hugged him. It was kind of endless – not that I’m complaining!

    One of the more brutal calls, however, went against the Raptors, when Amir got called for a foul for jumping for a loose ball (he got pushed by Bass, which caused him to slightly nudge Nelson). In fact, it seemed like the officiating, overall, was not-so-good yesterday.

  5. Brandon Bass turned into the Raptor player that is why it was offensive foul. Carter foul on Deronzon on the jump shot was clearly a foul and right in front of the ref. When your team plays aggresive refs tend to give a little more leway. This was a 48 minute total performance from the team. I really thought the Raps played some reallly good defence for alot of the game. Espeacially at the end of the game to deny the inbound pass twice. Can’t celebrate to long CB is up next. Do you think Miami will put Bosh on Bargs?? I doubt it he’ll probably guard Evans. i dont care if we win tonight just wanna see Bosh look bad as he has for most of the season

  6. How about Julian Wright? Isn’t he making the case for getting some more minutes? I haven’t seen him have this much of an impact in a game since when he was at Kansas in 07.

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