Toronto Raptors Hold off Magic, Improve to 3-0 Inside the Bubble
The Toronto Raptors haven’t lost a game in 155 days as they increased their win-streak to seven.
On Friday, if they are to win an eighth straight game, they will be able to clinch the two seed in the Eastern Conference when they take on the Boston Celtics.
After absolutely dominating the first half on both ends of the court, the Orlando Magic made the second half competitive, but behind yet another brilliant performance from the Raptors starting backcourt, Toronto held on for the 109-99 victory, improving to 3-0 inside bubble play. Fred VanVleet finished with 21 points, Kyle Lowry nearly collected a triple-double, and five other Raptors finished in double-figure scoring it a combined team effort.
As the Raptors continue to elevate their play inside the bubble, head coach Nick Nurse noted that the league continues to tweak the in-game experience on campus.
“They’re learning things about how to put the game on in this setting . . . and who knows what it’ll evolve to here two months from now. So I don’t want to discount the home court thing quite yet,” Nurse said prior to the jump.
“It felt very quiet during the scrimmages. It’s getting less quiet. There’s crowd noise, you can see family members and coaches’ family members and players’ family members [on the giant video screen], there is a sense of personal touch to it. And there’s also a lot more noise . . . when you’re saying things, it’s crowd noise and music that’s feeling more familiar.”
Meanwhile, the Magic were dealt some more bad news.
After losing Jonathan Isaac for the remainder of their season with an ACL tear, Aaron Gordon was forced out of the game due to a hamstring issue.
In what seems to have been a preview of a first round matchup of the upcoming postseason, Magic’s star big man Nikola Vucevic continued his struggles against Marc Gasol. The European centre finished with just 12 points on 40 percent shooting, getting outplayed by the Spaniard who one-upped him with 13 points on the evening.
Onto the next one!