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After promising regular-season run, Orlando exits playoffs in lopsided loss

TORONTO — How bad was it for Orlando? Trailing Toronto 14-3 in the first quarter, the Magic called a timeout after making just 1-of-7 shots. Coming out of the break, Orlando missed its next four attempts.
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TORONTO — How bad was it for Orlando?

Trailing Toronto 14-3 in the first quarter, the Magic called a timeout after making just 1-of-7 shots. Coming out of the break, Orlando missed its next four attempts.

The Raptors led 35-19 at the end of the first quarter and it took a 12-4 Magic run to get there. Orlando missed its first 11 three-point attempts and with some seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, had more technicals (two) than three-pointers (one).

And so it went.

An Orlando team that went 22-9 to finish the regular season as the seventh seed in the East exited the playoffs with a whimper Tuesday night, battered 115-96 by a rampant Raptors team in Game 5 of their first-round series.

It was a stats sheet from hell for Orlando. 

The Magic starters made just 16 of 50 shots. Orlando scored the last 18 points and still lost by 19.

"To finish like that, it's tough. But they played better than us," said Orlando's Evan Fournier. "There's not much else to say. During that series, they got better game after game and we didn't. So congrats (to them)."

"They got better as the series went on and we weren't ready for that," echoed Orlando coach Steve Clifford.

After an upset 104-101 win in Game 1 on a D.J. Augustin three-pointer, Toronto won 111-82, 98-93 and 107-85 to set up Tuesday night's finale.

Nikola Vucevic's miserable series continued as he picked up three fouls before the six-minute mark of the first quarter. Aaron Gordon, charged with defending Kawhi Leonard, had two early fouls.

Vucevic and Gordon had a combined four points and six fouls in 15 minutes 52 seconds of action in the first half. They finished with six and 11 points, respectively.

Vucevic averaged 20.8 points and Gordon 16.0 during the regular season.

It marked the Magic's first trip to the playoff since 2012 when Orlando was beaten 4-1 in the first round by Indiana.

"We felt like were one of the best teams in the NBA coming down the stretch," said Gordon. "We still feel that we didn't play our best in this series. So we know we have more to accomplish. We believe we have a lot of young pieces on this team with a bright future."

The present proved to be a mismatch, however.

Orlando averaged 107.3 points during the regular season but was held to 92.0 per game in the playoffs by Toronto.

"This is a terrific team," Clifford said of the Raptors. "Terrific ... I just felt like we had a team that could make it harder on them than we did."

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press




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