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Despite resting three of their top players, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic tonight, 113-102.
Although Toronto’s defence gave up 32 points in the fourth quarter, the team was dominant from the beginning of the second half after a low-scoring first.
Paul Watson Jr. was the biggest highlight, leading the Raptors in scoring with 30 points — 20 of which were in the third quarter alone — in his first NBA start. Yuta Watanabe also stood out with 21 points.
Toronto was efficient on field goals and three pointers with 50% and 40% accuracy, respectively. They also won the game in rebounds (42), blocks (10) and points in the paint (42).
Wendell Carter Jr. led Orlando with 20 points.
The contest began with a defensive showdown as the game was tied 24-24 after one quarter. The second frame had a similar theme with both teams combining for 98 points at halftime. The Magic led 51-47 heading into the third quarter.
The second half started with more of the same until Toronto scored 15 unanswered points and Watson Jr. drained four straight three pointers just past the midway mark of the third. The Raptors took an 85-70 lead into the fourth.
Orlando’s Mo Bamba (hip), Michael Carter-Williams (ankle) and Otto Porter Jr. (foot) were also out tonight.
Gary Trent Jr. (ankle) and Jalen Harris (hip) were ruled out prior to tip-off. Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam were rested while Fred VanVleet returned to the floor after serving a one-game suspension.
The Raptors will be at home again on Sunday to play the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m. EST.