Raptors Take Overtime NBA London 2016 Match-up

NBA London Toronto Orlando

NBA London 2016 won’t be forgotten anytime soon, after the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic battled through overtime at the O2 Arena, as the Raptors took away the spoils 106-103 in the UK’s regular season showdown.

As opposed to last year’s match-up between the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks, NBA London 2016 got off to a hot shooting start – with Orlando and the Raptors both trading opening baskets at ease.

However, The Magic then suffered at the hands of some punishing Toronto defense, as the Raptors – who had plenty of vocal support took hold going into the second quarter.

As the crowd cheered in Toronto’s favour, it was DeMar DeRozan causing the problems, with seven points and five rebounds as the buzzer sounded for the first time. In fact, with the quarter at its end, the Toronto faithful has plenty to cheer about with their 31-18 lead.

DeMar DeRozan Toronto

Orlando’s offense was much improved as the second period got started, with Victor Oladipo continuing the offensive form which has seen him solidify his leadership role with the Florida franchise

With the second period hitting the midway stage, Orlando still found themselves on the wrong side of a 33-46 deficit, with Toronto’s balanced scoring effort proving too hot to handle. Three point shooting was aiding the Canadian franchise as well, Patrick Patterson in particular stretching the defense.

However, the Magic’s defensive focus was soon back in full flow, as they battled their way back to within five points with a matter of minutes to go in the half. Although Toronto’s hot shooting continued to help Toronto stop the bleeding as the Raptors still found themselves in the lead, 61-54 at the half.

Toronto vs Orlando Second Half…

As the third quarter began, there was no cold streak to worry about for the British fans, as both teams hit the ground running once again in fast paced fashion. With both teams willing to run the break, Orlando still found themselves behind – although only by seven points, with the score 70-63 midway through the quarter.

Orlando continued to fight on, and were within three at one point – however, Toronto continued to frustrate the hosts, quickly reopening the gap thanks to a Lowry three pointer. However, with Elfrid Payton hitting at the third quarter buzzer, Orlando ended the quarter down by only four points, 77-73.

Toronto Orlando Celebs

Plenty of celebrities were on show at the event…

Toronto opened the fourth in fine form, with Bismack Biyombo finding his way to the rim with ease, whilst Cory Joseph continued his strong shooting to open up a nine point lead with eight minutes remaining in the game.

However, it was the Magic who would fight back once again, Evan Fournier sparking to life from beyond the arc and inside the paint to close the gap to just three points once again with five minutes, although a pair of Lowry free throws would help set the Florida franchise back once again.

Both teams continued to trade baskets in what was an intense final few minutes, first Oladipo hitting from three point range, only for Toronto to reopen their lead. With just 1:02 remaining Lowry increased the Raptors lead to six points, courtesy of two free throws.

However, with a three point play going their way, the Magic suddenly found themselves within just two points, with 59.1 remaining. It was then Oladipo’s turn to take charge, hitting from 15ft to tie things up with just a matter of seconds to go.

With the seconds ticking down, the Magic had an inbounds play with only 0.7 to go – setting up the chance for an improbably buzzer beating victory – with the scores level at 96-96. However, Jason Smith’s last second attempt couldn’t find the bottom of the bucket, setting up overtime in one of the most exciting NBA London games of recent memory.

Toronto raptors

NBA Sale Horace Grant

Overtime at the O2 Arena…

With the O2 Arena in full voice overtime got underway, with Toronto opening up with a quick 4-0 run, Valanciunas and Joseph the scorers. Vucevic hit once again from mid-range to narrow the gap, before Patrick Patterson drilled a corner three to open up a five point deficit with less than two minutes remaining.

Oladipo struck once again to slice the lead down to three points with 1:20 remaining, before the officials were forced to refer to the replay centre to dictate the possession following a dubious out of bounds play – with the ball heading to the Magic.

Victor Oladipo’s three point attempt couldn’t find the bucket, and following a foul on Kyle Lowry, Toronto stretched the lead to five from the charity stripe; giving the Magic a mountain to climb with 43.1 seconds remaining in the game.

Oladipo struck once again from downtown to close the lead to two, leaving the game on a knife-edge. Following an empty trip from Toronto, Orlando were once again left with the task of taking the final shot of the game, with a shade under 10 seconds remaining.

However, the Magic couldn’t get themselves a shot attempt, with a costly turnover giving Kyle Lowry the chance to ice the game at the free throw line. However, after missing the first, he sank the second to stand the game up at 106-103.

Orlando

The Magic had no timeouts remaining, and despite inbounding to Vucevic, his shot found right rim as the buzzer sounded, giving the Raptors the victory at the end of a frantic period of overtime.

The win gives Toronto a stronger position in the East, with a 25-15 record, whilst Orlando continue to battle for a playoff spot in eighth with a 20-19 record.

What did you make of NBA London 2016? Did you go? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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