Raptors need some magic

Chris Bosh as the Raptors lose game 4 to Orlando  106-94.  Sun Photo: Stan Behal Saturday, April...

Chris Bosh as the Raptors lose game 4 to Orlando 106-94. Sun Photo: Stan Behal Saturday, April 26, 2008 7:33:00 PM

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:57 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Raptors again head down to Florida, not for a holiday, but to avoid one.

They'll need to find some magic of their own, and quick, because one more loss and it's all over as the Raptors now trail the best-of-seven, first-round NBA playoff series to the Orlando Magic, 3-1.

"We've got to fight like the dickens," said Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, following his club's 106-94 defeat yesterday. "We've got to go out kicking and screaming.

"There's nothing brilliant I can tell you, other than we've got to focus and remember that we came within a shot of winning down there in Game 2," he added.

The Magic, as usual, rode a strong game from its all-world centre, Dwight Howard, who posted 19 points, 16 rebounds, including five on the offensive boards, three assists and an incredible eight blocks.

But what put the visitors over the top at a raucous ACC in Toronto were the contributions from three of the four other starters -- small forward Hedo Turkoglu, who had 18 points and nine boards, power forward Rashard Lewis, who finally discovered his shooting touch, scoring 27 points with 13 rebounds, and point guard Jameer Nelson, who carried the Magic in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the final 12 minutes.

"There's nothing more you can ask from Rashard Lewis," said Howard of his often-maligned teammate. "He just comes out and gets the job done."

BOSH WASTED

The loss spoiled a huge game for Toronto's star power forward Chris Bosh, who scored a post-season career-high 39 points, while adding a playoff-career high 15 rebounds.

One obvious reason for the loss by Toronto yesterday was the fact the Raptors, normally an excellent three-point shooting team, shot 2-for-15 from beyond the arc.

They also allowed the Magic to shoot better than 49% from the field.

"We just didn't make shots. That's what it came down to," said Bosh. "We had open 15-footers, some contested and some uncontested, but we never really got on that roll that we get on sometimes, especially at home."

The Raptors also did not get big games out of their bench players, with the exception of Jason Kapono, who shot 5-for-9 from the field for 12 points.

Normally, the bench is a big advantage for the Raptors, but yesterday they were not. Backup point guard Jose Calderon experienced his worst game of the series, shooting 1-for-7, and he was on the court for most of the fourth when his Orlando counterpart Nelson went on his scoring rampage.

The Raptors were in the driver's seat heading into the fourth quarter, leading 74-73.

But shooting 1-for-7 from three-point range in the final 12 minutes was a killer, as was the absence of starting small forward Jamario Moon, who was forced to leave the game at the 6:59 mark of the third quarter with a groin injury. The team missed his defence.

Game 5 is tomorrow in Orlando.


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