Danny Green on Tuesday night watched helplessly from the paint while Evan Fournier dribbled past and dunked a tying basket with 2.3 seconds left.
Feeding off the confidence of first-year coach Nick Nurse, Green got redemption on the very next play.
Green made a fade-away jumper with less than a second remaining to lift the Toronto Raptors over the Orlando Magic 93-91. He caught Kyle Lowry’s inbound pass with 2.3 seconds left, pulled up on the left side of the lane and hit a jumper with 0.5 seconds showing.
Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY
Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic missed on a 67-foot heave as time expired.
“Most coaches wouldn’t go to a guy who makes a mistake at that point in the game, but Nick has 100 percent faith in all of us,” Green said. “He continues to encourage us and allows us to play through our mistakes. It was nice to make one after missing quite a few the whole game.”
Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 18 points and Pascal Siakam had 15. Serge Ibaka added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Green finished with 13.
Fournier led the Magic with 27 points, 22 of them in the second half when he was about the only offense Orlando could generate. Aaron Gordon had 16 points, and Vucevic had 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic, who ended a three-game winning streak.
Both sides struggled offensively much of the game, especially in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors committed eight turnovers in the final period and Orlando missed 11 straight field-goal attempts during a rough four-minute stretch. Some of that had to do with the defense.
“Our defense was unbelievable the first 24 minutes and the last 12,” Nurse said. “We were an absolute disaster in the third quarter, but some of that was our offense’s fault.”
The Magic outscored the Raptors 38-26 in the third quarter to wipe out what had been an 18-point deficit.
Orlando led 77-75 early in the fourth quarter before missing 11 straight field-goal attempts. Their only points during that time were two free throws from Jonathan Isaac.
“The story of the game was the first six minutes of the fourth quarter,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “We did a good job fighting at the end, and that last shot was a difficult shot and he just knocked it in.”
Toronto did not take much advantage of the drought. The Raptors could only put together a three-pointer from Green and a layup by Jonas Valanciunas during that stretch to take an 80-77 lead.
The teams traded baskets from there until Ibaka drilled a jumper from the top of the key to put Toronto in front 91-89.
Toronto led by 18 during a first half when both teams struggled to find or maintain an offensive rhythm. The Raptors made enough shots to jump out to a 40-22 advantage in the middle of the second quarter, as Orlando labored with less than 30 percent shooting.
Fournier started the second half with a three-pointer, the first of six treys in the period for the Magic.
Another three-pointer from Fournier tied it at 59 with 5 minutes, 5 seconds left, and his free throw gave Orlando a 75-73 lead going into the fourth.
Fournier had 14 points in the quarter.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
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