The first two meetings between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors featured what both teams do best offensively.
So it was only appropriate Sunday’s matchup, the third in nine days between the two teams, was mostly a defensive battle.
The frequency of playing each other created familiarity, leading to the Magic and Raptors flustering the opposing offenses.
Ultimately, the Magic capitalized on the advantages and opportunities they created, beating the Raptors 111-99 at Amway Center.
The victory was the third consecutive for the Magic (8-20), a season-best winning streak.
Orlando beat Toronto Friday 113-109 after falling to the Raptors 121-108 in Toronto on Dec. 3. The Magic kicked off the winning streak with a 116-111 home overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday.
Both the Magic and Raptors struggled to create good scoring opportunities early, leading to the Raptors having a 19-18 lead at the end of the first and both teams shooting under 40% from the field when the Magic took a 47-39 lead into halftime.
The offenses woke up in the second half, with the Raptors winning the third 36-35 to reduce the Magic’s lead to 82-75 heading into the final quarter. But the Magic got the buckets early in the fourth — and the defensive stops — necessary to create separation.
With the Magic leading 86-79, there was the Franz Wagner pull-up 3 with 10:04 remaining that kicked off a stretch of three consecutive Wagner 3s to give the Magic a 95-79 lead.
Mo Bamba had a putback dunk and Cole Anthony made a floater to keep the Magic’s lead at 16 in the middle of the fourth, with the Magic holding at least an 8-point lead for the remainder of the game.
Wagner scored a team-high 23 points, including 11 in the fourth, on 6-of-14 shooting and 8 of 10 on free throws.
Bamba (18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks) and Anthony (14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) combined for 32 points off the bench.
Paolo Banchero, who made the pull-up midrange shot to give the Magic a 109-99 lead with 46.5 remaining to seal the win, added 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
Gary Trent Jr. (24 points) and Fred VanVleet (20 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals) led the Raptors (13-14), who’ve lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven.
Sunday wrapped up the Magic’s “baseball-style” series — when two teams play consecutive games at the same venue with no travel in between — of the season.
They’ll play three more: at Celtics in Boston (Friday and Dec. 18); at 76ers in Philadelphia (Jan. 30 and Feb. 1); vs. Cavaliers in Orlando (April 4 and 6).
Wendell Carter Jr. (strained right foot plantar fascia), Gary Harris (strained right hamstring), Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness) and Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness) sat Sunday.
The Magic will wrap up the five-game homestand vs. the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.