TORONTO — The Magic missed defensive rotations, missed teammates with passes and, of course, missed Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
The Magic had the Toronto Raptors cornered but never could catch them in a 93-90 loss at Air Canada Centre on Friday night.
Looking to reach .500 after 26 games, the Magic slipped to 12-14.
Despite shooting the ball well (50 percent), they were unable to get key stops and turned the ball over too much, sins that undermined a late comeback effort.
The Magic nearly pulled it out despite the absence of Davis.
Trailing by 11 with just over four minutes remaining, the Magic closed to 91-90 on point guard Jameer Nelson's 3-pointer with 56 seconds left.
Amir Johnson hit two free throws to push Toronto's lead to 93-90 with 42 seconds left.
J.J. Redick drove past former Magic guard Mickeal Pietrus. As Raptors closed in, Redick tried to feed center Gustavo Ayon, who had the ball stolen from him. Another turnover.
After DeMar DeRozan's miss, Redick had a chance to tie the game but missed a 3-point attempt.
"Great look. I think everyone from our view thought it was going in," coach Jacque Vaughn said. "It was on line, great arc ... just didn't go in."
The Magic corralled the rebound off Redick's miss. But Nelson lost it in the scramble as the night, fittingly, ended on a turnover, Orlando's 18th, on a steal by Pietrus.
The Magic's turnovers accounted for 17 points while the Raptors (9-19) took care of the ball better, making just nine miscues for only 11 points.
"You never like to say you won or lost the game on one play in the fourth quarter," said shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who, along with Nelson, had a five-turnover night.
"The turnovers that occur in the first and second quarters are just as responsible. We have to do a better job as a whole throughout the entire game."
The Raptors also hit eight 3-pointers — four more than the Magic, who shot just 28.6 percent from long range.
The Magic started rookie Andrew Nicholson in Davis' power-forward spot. They were actually getting by without Davis until late in the game. He usually joins Redick, Afflalo, Nelson and Nik Vucevic on the floor at that point.
"It's tough. We normally close with that group," Redick said. "That's what really hurt, not being able to go to that lineup."
While Nicholson had a poor night with just six points on 3-of-10 shooting and three turnovers, Ayon was solid. He finished with 13 rebounds and 12 points and played with impact.
Typical of their defensive shortcomings, after Vucevic scored midway in the fourth period to cut the deficit to 80-74, on the ensuing possession John Lucas drove in for an uncontested layup.
Nelson then drained a jumper to trim the margin to six. However, Terrence Ross drilled a 3-pointer over Redick before stealing the ball and making it 87-76 with a crowd-pleasing dunk.
Davis was not with the team after he sustained a sprained left shoulder in the Magic's victory Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards. He is expected to be out for four to six weeks, according to the team.
The Magic will need to find more answers in his absence.
"Injuries are part of the game," Afflalo said. "It's no excuse."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times