Raptors seek to maintain defense against struggling Magic
TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors found their defense in the win over the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Orlando Magic were still trying to establish theirs after a loss to the Boston Celtics.
The Raptors and Magic, who had contrasting results Friday, will meet for the second time this season Sunday at the Air Canada Centre.
Toronto defeated Orlando 109-79 Dec. 18 at Amway Center when the Magic committed 20 turnovers leading to 28 points
The Raptors have won 14 of the past 15 games against the Magic with Orlando's win in that span coming Nov. 6, 2015.
The Magic (18-30) lost 128-98 to the Celtics in Boston on Friday and defense was clearly lacking.
"It's everybody," Magic center Bismack Biyombo said. "Our efforts are not good enough. We talk about the right thing. Everybody says the right thing, but we've got to hold each other accountable. At some point, it is embarrassing to be out there."
Biyombo was a solid rebounder off the bench for the Raptors last season and was signed by the Magic to bolster the defense.
"You can have individual defenders, some of the best," Magic forward Aaron Gordon said. "But if they're not on the same page and moving in sync, then that's the result."
The Magic had guard D.J. Augustin back in the lineup Friday after he missed the loss to the Chicago Bulls Tuesday with a sprained right ankle. He had six points and four assist in 18 minutes off the bench.
Swingman Evan Fournier, who has missed seven games with a right heel injury, worked out with the team Saturday and could return Sunday.
Fournier led the Magic with 15 points against Toronto in the first meeting this season.
Toronto All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle Friday, a 102-86 win that ended a season-high five-game losing streak.
DeRozan is listed as questionable for the game Sunday.
Kyle Lowry led the way Friday with 32 points for the Raptors but Bucks coach Jason Kidd mentioned the All-Star point guard's defense as well.
"He causes problems on the offensive end, he's going to put pressure," Kidd said. "But defensively, you have to be aware of him because he comes up with steals, he's always causing havoc."
Raptors coach Dwane Casey praised DeMarre Carroll for his defensive play on Friday. "As far as our attention to detail, I thought DeMarre Carroll did an excellent job of guarding his yard," Casey said. "Making sure he stuck with the game plan and stayed disciplined."
The return of Patrick Patterson also has helped the Raptors' defense. He started Friday and had 10 points and seven rebounds. It was his third game back after missing 10 of the 12 previous games with a strained left knee.
"When Pat plays, it's a lot different," Lowry said. "He spaces the floor and he can give you that matchup and guard a guy like (Milwaukee's) Jabari Parker and Giannis (Antetokounmpo). You have those type of matchups and he spaces the floor. Having Pat is an important part to our team."
The Raptors (29-18) are 7-8 in January and the win Friday should take off some pressure.
"Everybody has their own philosophy and feelings about what's wrong and what's right, what we should be doing, what we're not doing," Casey said. "It's about going out and playing. Guys just don't forget how to play basketball. Going through a little something, -- still have to continue to work to get better this time of year -- and actions are far more important than words."