DeMar DeRozan finished off the Magic, 97-95, with a game-winner that had a 10.0 degree of difficulty. It was the kind of shot that makes you say “no no no no … YES!” if you’re a Raps fan. Truly, it was a bad play call, because why else do you have DeRozan take a pass running away from the passer and toward the opposite bench, then loft a 20-footer over both Arron Afflalo AND Big Baby Davis? Whatever — it went in for his 22nd point (10-of-17 shooting) and a huge sigh of relief for a team that’s had six games end within three points this season and three losses come in overtime in their last four. … Terrence Ross (10 points) is easy to love for his playmaking, and he hit a couple nice jumpers in the fourth quarter with six minutes and about 4:30 left to get the Raptors within one and then take the lead (we will, however, take issue that they were both long twos, just a foot from being threes if he stepped back). His defense on J.J. Redick (4-of-11 shooting, 14 points) was also crucial late, especially because both teams went small most the game and needed those perimeter points. At one point it was Big Baby Davis, Amir Johnson and eight guards just running around the perimeter. Give Redick an inch and he can flush it, though. Ross crept over to help against an Afflalo drive at the top of the arc with 53 seconds and J.J. not only hit the three, he made the free throw on the and-one to tie. Each team traded buckets to tie it up again with 20 seconds left before DeRozan’s buzzer-beater. … We didn’t think we’d ever say this, but the Johnson-Nikola Vucevic matchup was something we were seriously looking forward to watching. Vuc had 19 points and 14 boards, with zero turnovers, and Johnson finished with 21 and 10. … You don’t always have to be perfect in the NBA, just smart. Alan Anderson qualifies. Dude was 2-for-10 from range in the fourth quarter and OT against Miami on Wednesday, but he made it a point to get to the rim instead of jacking up long balls Thursday. All four of his field goals were within 14 feet or less for 13 points. … The Clippers are still quite good without Chris Paul but, let’s face it, their 93-88 loss to Phoenix wouldn’t have happened had Paul’s knee been healthy enough for him to play. Credit goes to the Suns, though, for pressuring L.A. and answering each Jamal Crawford jumper (21 points off the bench) with a drive by Goran Dragic (24 points) to draw free throws or draw the defense in for a kick-out dime. The Clips couldn’t shoot at all, just 40 percent on the night, but that’s going to happen a few times in a season. No reason to be worried. … It was a nice win for interim Phoenix coach Lindsey Hunter, now 2-0, after the back-and-forth between Suns management and former coach Alvin Gentry’s longtime assistants this week. Dan Majerle and Elston Turner have both blasted the move to go to Hunter after saying they’d been promised a head job there had Gentry been canned. Instead they were passed over and they have both left the team and let everyone know why they’re unhappy about it. … We’re out like confiscated Honey Nut Cheerios signs.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook