Jakob Poeltl's big night leads the Toronto Raptors to a 123-113 win over the Orlando Magic
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
The partially new-look Toronto Raptors continue to find a groove with one another as they pick up a 123-113 victory against the Orlando Magic. Considering the last two times these teams matched up together there was definitely a statement that Toronto needed to make, especially with the way they were embarrassed by Orlando. A large amount of credit can be given to the newest member of this team, Jakob Poeltl.
One thing Orlando has proven this season is to not take them lightly and the Raptors are very well aware of this as they had to learn the hard way. However, despite a loss and a one-point victory as a sample size, Jakob Poeltl's addition has uplifted the team in many ways that led to this victory. The anchor in the middle finished with a near season-high 30 points along with nine rebounds and five blocks—all coming in the fourth quarter.
His presence within the paint strayed away Magic guards from driving and although many possessions didn't finish in blocks, Poeltl just being there forced a miss. It wasn't just a one-man show as Fred VanVleet finished with a season-high 15 assists on the night. A part of what made last year's Raptors team so great was that on any given night someone can give you over 20 points. A recipe for success that this group is slowly developing as this season progresses.
Although Toronto's offence was great tonight, their defence struggled primarily in the first half and that was due to the player selected after Scottie Barnes. Jalen Suggs continues his impressive streak of great performances against the Raptors with 24 points and four assists. His play set the tone for the perimeter players and their inside presence was solidified by Wendell Carter Jr.
The former Duke Blue Devil finished with 26 points and six assists picking up where he left off prior to his injury. Despite the great play of these two, Toronto was able to contain Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner who thrived in their last matchups combining for just 22 points.
As this team learns how to play with each other, they show great glimpses of what they can be. All five starters finished with double figures in the scoring column. This victory evens up the season series between these two teams at two games apiece.
The Toronto Raptors improve to 28-31 on the season and will gear up for their next game against the New Orleans Pelicans on the 23rd of February, which will be after the All-Star break.