NBA: Magic head to Toronto hoping to halt 7-game skid


The Orlando Magic will try to end a seven-game losing streak Saturday night when they visit the struggling Toronto Raptors.

Both teams are coming off Friday night road losses.

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The Raptors trailed by as many as 36 points before losing 114-105 to the Brooklyn Nets in New York to complete a winless two-game road trip. Toronto has dropped four of six.

The Magic lost 107-96 to the host Cleveland Cavaliers.

Toronto was outscored 41-17 in the first quarter against Brooklyn after trailing 40-29 to the New Orleans Pelicans in a 126-108 road loss on Wednesday.

“We suck right now,” said Fred VanVleet, who scored 10 points for the Raptors on Friday.

Pascal Siakam put up 24 points and O.G. Anunoby had 21 for the Raptors.

Scottie Barnes added 17 points and nine rebounds after coming off a poor game in New Orleans when he had four points, one rebound and five assists.

Barnes was playing his third game Friday after missing two games due to a sprained left knee.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he wants Barnes to concentrate on his strengths.

“Listen, for me his intangibles are really what make him special and that’s what I have been talking to him more about,” Nurse said. “I’m like, ‘Do your things that make you special. You’re a good defender, a pass-first guy, you’re a rebounder, you bring it on the break, you do a little of a lot of things,’ and that’s what I’m trying to get him to do.’

“And then focus on the defensive part of it because he can be a special defender when he’s locked in and then try to stay aggressive offensively. ”

Barnes was the NBA Rookie of the Year last season, but he hasn’t played with the same spark at times this season.

“That was his challenge,” Nurse said. “It is for all of us, to be honest, when you’re going through the grind of it. Your first time around, everything is new and different in every game and every opponent and all that stuff, but now it becomes more job-like.”

The Magic trailed by as many as 20 points in Cleveland. They got 22 points from Paolo Banchero and 19 from Cole Anthony.

It was Anthony’s second game back from a torn right oblique. Markelle Fultz, who made his season debut Wednesday after being out with a broken left toe, contributed 10 points against the Cavaliers.

The Magic were without Mo Bamba (back spasms) for the third straight game on Friday. He was a game-time decision before being scratched about an hour before tipoff.

Wendell Carter Jr. (plantar fascia), Gary Harris (hamstring), Jonathan Isaac (knee), Chuma Okeke (knee) and Jalen Suggs (ankle) were also out for the Magic on Friday.

“I just come to work with a smile and do my best,” said Moritz Wagner, who had 16 points and nine rebounds for Orlando on Friday. “We feel like we can be successful once we get all our guys back and healthy. It’s on us to keep pushing until that happens.”

Precious Achiuwa (ankle) and Otto Porter Jr. (toe) did not play Friday for Toronto.

–Field Level Media

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