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Raptors 97, Magic 86

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TORONTO (AP) - Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn is already getting tired of delivering the same postgame message: slow starts are making life miserable for the Magic.

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DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, Amir Johnson had 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors beat the slumping Magic 97-86 on Sunday.

Orlando has trailed after the first quarter in seven games this season. Sunday was no exception, with the Raptors racing out to a 32-22 lead.

``There's no other way we're going to win if we're not prepared,'' Vaughn said. ``If we're not ready to play at the start of the game and committed at the start of the game, not waiting till halftime and what happens after, then we won't have a chance.''

The Magic are 2-5 when trailing after the first quarter.

``We have to set the tempo at the beginning of the game,'' said Glen Davis, who led the Magic with 16 points and 12 rebounds. ``It takes us a while to get into the game. I don't know why we have to be down to get it going, but we've got to find it.''

Andrea Bargnani had 17 points, Linas Kleiza scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth and Jose Calderon had a season-high 18 assists for the Raptors, who had lost six of their previous seven home meetings with Orlando.

``Jose is a leader,'' Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ``I cannot say enough about how much I respect his game, his leadership and his heart.''

E'Twuan Moore scored 16 points and Arron Afflalo had 15. Nikola Vucevic had 12 and six rebounds, ending his streak of three straight double-doubles.

Orlando snapped a five-game losing streak and picked up its first road victory of the season by beating Detroit on Friday, but failed to collect back-to-back wins for the first time since beating Denver and Phoenix in the first two games of the season.

``We had to play comeback basketball again,'' Vaughn said. ``I was disappointed that we had to be fighting back into the game for a lead.''

J.J. Redick, who led the Magic with a season-high 23 points Friday, did not play Sunday because of an illness, further depleting a Magic team that is already without long-term absentees Al Harrington (right knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (broken left hand). DeQuan Jones took Redick's place in the starting lineup.

``It affects us with scoring, ball movement and leadership,'' Vaughn said of Redick's absence. Redick will be evaluated before Monday's game at Atlanta.

After being outscored 28-18 in the third quarter, surrendering an eight-point lead in the process, the Raptors regained control in the fourth, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Kleiza and Johnson turning a one-point deficit into a 79-74 lead with 6:55 left to play.

``That took a lot of air out of us, especially the one Johnson made,'' Davis said. ``Guys hit shots like that, what can you do? That's not on the scouting report.''

For Johnson, the 3 was his first of the season, and only his second attempt.

``Jose is probably the only one who would pass me the ball on the 3-point line,'' Johnson said. ``I didn't hesitate. I just caught it and shot the ball. All summer long I've been working on that shot.''

Toronto pulled away from there, with Johnson scoring a turnaround hook shot and making a pair of free throws, Bargnani hitting consecutive jumpers and Calderon finding DeRozan for a powerful alley-oop dunk with 4:00 remaining that gave the Raptors an 89-78 lead.

DeRozan scored 11 points in the first and the Raptors used a 10-2 run and four 3-pointers to open a 32-22 lead, their biggest lead after one quarter this season.

The Magic got eight points and five rebounds from Davis in the second, but Orlando trailed 49-41 at the half.

Afflalo scored four points as Orlando opened the third with an 8-2 run, cutting it to 51-49. A driving layup by Nelson with 1:13 left gave the Magic a 67-66 lead, their first since scoring the game's opening basket. Nelson scored six points in the third, all of them in the final 1:49, as the Magic took a 69-67 lead into the fourth.

NOTES: The Raptors announced that former C Jamaal Magloire has accepted a role as development consultant and community ambassador. The Toronto-born Magloire was cut during training camp, ending his 12-year NBA career. ... Toronto begins a three-game road trip at Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Raptors are 1-4 away from home this season. ... Calderon had 17 assists in a triple-overtime loss to Utah on Nov. 12. His career-high is 19, set twice. ... Buffalo Bills players Jairus Byrd and Kyle Williams attended the game.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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