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Raptors take down Magic for sixth straight win

Xinhua, March 28, 2017 Adjust font size:

The Toronto Raptors extended their winning streak to six games in a dominating 131-112 victory over the Orlando Magic in the NBA on Monday evening.

With the win, Toronto improves to 45-29 on the season and 25-12 in games played at Air Canada Center.

The winning streak matches Toronto's longest of the season when they reeled off six consecutive wins between Nov. 23 and Dec 3. The team has not won five straight games during the month of March since 2002.

The Raptors put on an offensive barrage, shooting a season-best 59.0 percent (49-for-83) from the field, including 10-for-15 from beyond the arc. The 73 points scored in the first half was a season-high, while the 131 points were one shy of tying a franchise-record for points in a non-overtime game.

All-Star DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 36 points, while guard Cory Joseph dished a career-high 13 assists and added 15 points for his first career double-double. Four other Raptors finished in the double-digits.

Despite the stellar offensive performance, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was not impressed with the team's effort on the defensive end, allowing Orlando to score 112 points on 48.9 percent (43-for-88) shooting from the field.

"We'll take the win but we can't be happy with our defensive performance," said Casey following the game. "I told that team that we have bigger goals in mind and if intend on achieving them, we got to have a better mindset than we did defensively," he continued.

Going into the game, Casey's squad ranked first in the league since the All-Star break (Feb. 15 to Mar. 25) in opponent field goal percentage (43.2 percent) and points allowed (97.4 points per game). During the 17-game stretch, the Raptors have held opponents to less than 50 percent shooting 15 times and less than 100 points nine times.

DeRozan agrees with his coach's sentiments, and says he hopes the team can use the remaining eight games in the regular season to regain their defensive focus.

"We can't get comfortable because we won a few games," said DeRozan after the game. "We still have to stay focused on the defensive end and let that win us games and not have to rely on scoring 130 points," he added.

The Raptors currently sit in fourth place in a tightly contested race for the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is half a game behind Washington for third, 2.5 games behind Cleveland for second and three games behind Boston for the top seed. Endit