The Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic were locked into a close contest on Thursday night. The game was tied at 95 with 4.3 seconds left. The Raptors had the basketball.
The ball was inbounded to Jose Calderon. Then DeRozan received the ball on the move as he went left. And he kept going left as he tried to look for an opening. Then with time running out (while still going left), he put up a difficult jumper over Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo chasing him.
Somehow, the ball went in. It was a really tough shot. The Magic played him well defensively. DeRozan just made a better shot.
That shot gave the Raptors the win, 97-95. DeRozan would end up with 22 points.
There weren’t very many exciting moments for the Raptors early this season. But now the Raptors are 16-27 and with Boston on a current freefall, the gap between them has gone down to 4 1/2 games. Yes, Philadelphia and Detroit are in the mix as well but if the Raptors can catch fire like they did when they won seven of eight games, the playoffs are a possibility.
And there may be a chance for more moments like this at a higher level. Great shot, DeMar.