Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic
Records: Raptors (26-10); Magic (14-19)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, Dec. 28
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
The first meeting between the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic this season came down to the wire.
Led by Evan Fournier, the Magic went on a huge run in the third quarter that set up a back-and-forth affair in the fourth. Fournier tied the game at 91 with seconds remaining in regulation, only to see Danny Green respond with the game-winning jumper.
MORE: Takeaways from Toronto's last-second win over Orlando
The Magic have struggled since that loss. Having dropped 10 of their last 15 games, they now find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race in between the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards.
Orlando has the second-worst offence in the league during that stretch and the 16th-ranked defence.
Even so, the Magic have some talented players on their roster who can make things difficult for any team. Nikola Vucevic has been playing like an All-Star for much of the season and Fournier has been playing his best basketball of the season in the month of December.
The Magic also have Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross, the latter of whom is having a career year with an average of 13.4 points per game off the bench.
The Raptors will be without Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry when they take on the Magic on Friday. They could also be without Chris Boucher, who missed Toronto's last game with an ankle injury.
Fred VanVleet continues to start in place of Lowry when the four-time All-Star is unable to play. He was the team's third-leading scorer in their comeback win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday with 16 points (5-12 FG).
MORE: Takeaways from Toronto's comeback win over Miami
VanVleet is now averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game as a starter this season compared to 8.8 points, 3.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game as a reserve.
Look for VanVleet to continue his strong play against the Magic on Friday.
Danny Green hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was his fifth career go-ahead 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds of a game.
That's the same amount as Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have made over the last 10 seasons, only Green has done so on far less attempts.
Danny Green hit his 5th career go-ahead 3-pointer in the final 30 sec tonight to lead the Raptors to a 106-104 win in Miami. That puts Green in some pretty good company. pic.twitter.com/8qN9yTUJ9q- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 27, 2018
Kawhi Leonard has scored 20-plus points in 11 straight games for the Raptors, tying a career-high set in 2017 per Holly MacKenzie of Raptors.com.
Leonard is averaging 30.7 points per game on 52.7 percent shooting from the field and 42.2 percent shooting from the 3-point line since starting that streak on Nov. 29.
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 20
Score: Raptors 93, Magic 91
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 18 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal
Magic: Evan Fournier - 27 points, four assists, three rebounds, one steal