National Basketball Association
Orlando at Toronto
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 27, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Raptors look to extend their winning streak to six as they continue to prepare for a fourth straight playoff run when the Orlando Magic pay a visit on Monday night. The Raptors, who are 3 ½ games out of first in the East and one behind Washington for third, knocked off Dallas 94-86 on Saturday for their fifth straight to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Toronto has allowed 91 points or fewer four times during its winning streak while All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry (wrist) is beginning basketball activities and should be back for the playoffs. “We want to make sure we’re trending in the right direction,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters. “That’s the most important thing right now. We’ll take (the playoff berth) and we don’t take it for granted.” The Magic have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league and that led to them dealing forward Serge Ibaka to Toronto at the trade deadline, but they have won three of the last four games after a 115-87 rout of Detroit on Friday. “We’re trying to build some momentum going into next season,” Orlando point guard Elfrid Payton told the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re just playing as hard as we can.”TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), TSN (Toronto)ABOUT THE MAGIC (27-46):
Terrence Ross, who came over as part of the Ibaka deal, faces his former team for the first time and has made an impression in Orlando while averaging 12.3 points in 15 games - 16.5 in the past four. “He’s athletic in the open court,” Magic coach Frank Vogel told the Orlando Sentinel of Ross. “. … He’s the kind of player that we want to have here - guys that are complete on both ends.” Center Nikola Vucevic is averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds during the last four games while Payton has a triple-double and two double-doubles in the same span.ABOUT THE RAPTORS (44-29):
Leading scorer DeMar DeRozan scored at least 40 in back-to-back wins before being limited to 18 against Dallas as reserve Patrick Patterson stepped up with 14 after averaging 5.6 the previous five games. “(Patterson) did an excellent job of finding the openings, finding the weak side,” Casey told reporters. “When they zoned us, the play is from him to get the shot and he knocked them down.” Ibaka is averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds while draining 41.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc in 15 contests since coming over from Orlando.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Magic have won the last two meetings, including a 114-113 triumph at Toronto on Jan. 29.
2. Toronto F DeMarre Carroll (sore back) missed Saturday’s game and is questionable for Monday.
3. Orlando G Evan Fournier leads the team in scoring (16.9) and is averaging 18.5 in the last four.PREDICTION:
Raptors 105, Magic 92
Stats and Records