(SportsNetwork.com) – The Toronto Raptors will venture out of the great white
north when they start a two-game tour of Florida with Saturday’s showdown
against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
The Raptors will visit the Miami Heat on Sunday, part of a stretch playing
three of four on the road. They opened the 2014-15 campaign on a positive note
with Wednesday’s 109-102 triumph versus the Atlanta Hawks,
Toronto, which is favored to win another Atlantic Division title, was led by
Amir Johnson’s 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 points, while DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points with
a career-high 11 rebounds and six steals in the win. Kyle Lowry opted to stick
around with a four-year extension in the offseason and was credited with 11
points and 10 assists.
“It was a good game for us,” said Vasquez. “A good first one to get going.
It’s way too early to determine what type of team we are going to be. We gotta
take it (to teams) at home.”
The Raptors capitalized on 19 Atlanta turnovers and converted them into 23
Toronto won a franchise-record 22 road games last season. Head coach Dwane
Casey needs seven wins to tie Lenny Wilkens (113) for second on the team’s
all-time list. Sam Mitchell holds the team record with 156 victories.
Orlando has lost to New Orleans and Washington so far and will try to avoid
its first 0-3 start since 2005. The Magic shot 38.1 percent in the 101-84 loss
at New Orleans and Tobias Harris scored 25 points.
Two nights later, the Magic dropped a 105-98 decision at home to the Wizards,
as they improved from the floor to the tune of 51.4 percent shooting. Nikola
Vucevic had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Ben Gordon netted 22 off the bench and
Evan Fournier dropped 21. Harris was limited to 14 points.
A valiant effort in the fourth quarter (32-23) came up short for Orlando,
which scored only 15 points in the third (28-15).
“I loved the urgency they played with once they got down,” Magic head coach
Jacque Vaughn said.
After hosting the Raptors, Orlando will visit Chicago and Philadelphia.
The Magic lost all three meetings with the Raptors last season and are winless
in the previous seven encounters between the teams. Toronto is unbeaten in its
last three trips to central Florida, but trails the all-time series, 34-33.