Nothing the loser Davis can do about it; too fat to get off the ground to properly contest the shot
Glen Davis looking dejected is now my desktop wallpaper; I’ll cherish it forever
It was sweet relief for DeRozan, who had been playing poor basketball for a few weeks. DeRozan, seemingly allergic to the paint recently, hit seven of his eight shots in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the final frame. All but one of them — a vicious dunk over Orlando’s E’Twaun Moore in traffic — came outside the paint. But DeRozan was the Raptors’ only productive option down the stretch. Ultimately, Orlando could not stop him.
“The coaches drew up a good play,” said DeRozan, who scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, missing just one of his eight shots in the final 12 minutes. “I just tried to get to my shot. Usually we run it going to my right, but that was the first time we ran it going to my left. “I knew if I got a good shot off, I had a chance at it going in.”
Pumping his fist along with DeRozan after the shot went through, Casey said later that he got the response he was looking for from his team. “I did, I really did,” Casey said. “Down the stretch everybody’s questioned our toughness and how tough we are. I’ve seen resolve and toughness the last couple of weeks. And for anybody who doesn’t feel like we’re in this to win it, they are totally wrong.”
Amir was the leading scorer for most the game and had a 21-10 night. The double-double was extremely important as the Raptors had let many rebounds slip through the cracks, especially since Orlando was shooting a paltry 43% from the field. Not only that, but Johnson didn’t register a single point in the 4th quarter, and carried the team throughout the first three quarters before DeRozan took over.
It was just the kind of clutch performance this team has been lacking for years, and seeing one of the young core players (shout out to commenter PBI, who will surely cringe at that “core” reference) put it together was certainly encouraging, no matter the opponent. DeRozan also added seven assists for the second straight game, so I’m cautiously optimistic that he’s finding his way out of his recent slump, though I’d still like to see him earn more free throw attempts.
Before I begin, I’ll point out that I am in no way comparing the magnitude of the two shots, but as pointed out by a commenter in the DeRozan buzzer-beater post, the shot DeMar made to beat the Magic in Orlando was very similar to the shot Vince Carter famously missed in Game 6 of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals in Philadelphia. After looking at the plays in question, it really is eery how similar they are. Have a look for yourself…
“They went small,” Vaughn said, referring to the Raptors. “I could only have one big on the floor.” As a result, Magic center Nikola Vucevic didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. The second-year player had 19 points and 14 boards through three periods. “They had four shooters on the court and we wanted to match up with them, so that’s what we did,” Moore said. Afflalo agreed.
The Raps actually fell behind, but had pulled ahead by four when, with a minute left, Terrence Ross “lost” J.J. Redick. The Magic’s veteran long range shooter received a pass, quickly buried a 3, and was fouled when Terrence compounded his error by knocking Redick down in a vain attempt to block the shot (the 4-point play didn’t result in Ross’ benching – a gutsy decision by coach Casey). DeRozan made an elbow jumper, which was matched on a Magic putback. With 4 seconds to play, the Raps inbounded, Jose Calderon found DeRozan…ballgame.
The Raptors split their Florida road trip by losing to the defending champions in overtime, followed by the bounce back win against the Magic. A hard fought loss to the Miami Heat is nothing to hang their heads about considering it took a triple-double from James, a double-double from Chris Bosh and 35 points, seven assists and five rebounds from Wade to get the job done. The win against Orlando is arguably even more important considering the Magic entered tonight half a game behind Toronto in the standings.
The jumper took rookie Terrence Ross — otherwise solid — off of the hook for fouling sharp-shooter J.J. Redick for a four-point game-tying play inside of the final minute. “It kind of bailed me out a lot because I felt if we had gone to overtime, it would have been my fault,” Ross said, looking a little guiltily, like the cat who swallowed the canary.
“I was in the middle of the lane and it looked – I didn’t know how he got the shot off first of all – but it looked good,’’ Redick said. “Guys that are scorers are going to score and hit tough shots. For the most part, he hit tough shots. Even the one before (the winner), he hit a one-legged step-back (shot) on me when I hit the ball as he’s going up. He just hit two tough ones down the stretch.’’
After watching one of their best efforts of the season slip away the night before in an overtime loss at Miami, the Raptors fought off a late Orlando charge and got a fadeaway jumper from DeMar DeRozan at the buzzer to secure a 97-95 victory over the Magic on Thursday night.
DeRozan took full advantage of a fourth quarter where both teams went small. How small? Arron Afflalo and Alan Anderson, who are both around 6-foot-5, played power forward down the stretch. All that extra space to operate was huge for DeRozan, a guy who lives on post-up opportunities and mid-range jumpers almost exclusively. After recording an uninspiring 8 points through three quarters, DeRozan blew up in the final frame, tallying 14 of the Raptors’ 22 points in the period.
With 4.3 seconds remaining and the game tied at 95, Alan Anderson inbounded the ball from the right sideline to Jose Calderon, who in turn swung the ball to DeRozan as he raced off a high screen towards the open left side of the court. Seeing the play develop, both Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis tracked DeRozan into the left corner, where he was launched an off-balance, step-back, fade-away jumper over Davis with one second remaining on the clock. The try swished through perfectly just after the buzzer sounded, giving the Raptors a dramatic road win
A cursory glance says “this was just two bottom-rung teams slugging it out.” Which is true (both teams are a combined 30-56). However, for DeRozan, this was significant. For a player looking to establish himself as a 2-guard to watch, closing a game out like this is a good route to take. He had only eight points going into the fourth quarter, then erupted for 14 (7-of-8, six jumpers). What happened? Well for one, Orlando went small. For a player who eats off mid-range jumpers and getting into the paint, this is a boon.
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