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NBA Notebook

Magic’s Jonathan Isaac facing a long road back

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac lies on the court after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Sunday's win over the Kings.Kim Klement/Associated Press

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac left the NBA’s bubble at Walt Disney World on Monday for more tests on his left knee, to determine if additional damage was done when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament on a jump-stop Sunday night.

ACL tears can take many months, perhaps even a full year, to recover from in most cases — and given the timing of this injury, it raises the possibility that Isaac could miss much of the 2020-21 season no matter when it starts.

“I hate to use the word crushing, but this is not an easy one to deal with. ... I can’t lie, it’s particularly difficult to handle when it’s someone like him,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said.


Isaac was hurt on Jan. 1, suffering a bad sprain and bone bruise and he didn’t play again until the restart at Disney. He wore a large brace to protect the knee, plus had it wrapped — and still couldn’t avoid another injury. Doctors said the injuries weren’t related.

Isaac finished the season averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.4 assists — all career-highs for the third-year forward/

VanVleet (36 points) leads Raptors

Fred VanVleet shoots as Miami's Goran Dragic tries to draw the offensive foul during Monday's action.Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points and made seven 3-pointers, and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors added to their strong restart with a 107-103 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday. Pascal Siakam added 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who are 2-0 since play resumed last week.

Goran Dragic had 25 points for the Heat, who fell 2½ games behind Boston in the battle for third in the Eastern Conference, and are just one game ahead of fifth-place Indiana. The Heat face the Celtics on Tuesday.

After the game, referee David Guthrie said it was a mistake for his officiating crew to charge Miami’s Kelly Olynyk with a flagrant foul during the fourth quarter.


Guthrie, the crew chief on the game, told a pool reporter afterward that in real time he felt that Olynyk was too aggressive when he swiped at Toronto’s Kyle Lowry with 6:56 left in the game.

Lowry was awarded two free throws and Toronto kept possession after those. He hit both free throws and Toronto scored on its extra possession, part of 9-0 run by the Raptors.

“After reviewing that more postgame, and thinking about it a little bit more, to me, it now is more of a natural basketball play going for the ball and that the contact really did not rise to the criteria of a flagrant foul,” Guthrie said.

Warren stays hot, scores 34

Indiana's T.J. Warren drives down court against Washington during the first half of Monday's game.Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

T.J. Warren kept up his red-hot restart with 34 more points, helping the Indiana Pacers pull away from the Washington Wizards for a 111-100 victory. Two nights after scoring a career-best 53 points in the Pacers’ first game at Disney, Warren had 16 points in the third quarter to spark a 22-2 run after Washington had fought back into the game. The Pacers, who improved to 2-0 since resuming the season, played without star guard Victor Oladipo, who rested on the first night of back-to-back games … Shake Milton hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left and the 76ers held on for a 132-130 win over the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan had 30 for San Antonio, but his 3-pointer for the win at the buzzer missed. The loss dropped the Spurs two games Grizzlies for eighth in the Western Conference … Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and the New Orleans Pelicans got a much-needed 109-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies despite another Zion Williamson shoe incident. Williamson had 23 points, 7 rebounds, and tied a career high with 5 assists in his most extensive playing time since returning to the NBA bubble. Williamson drove the lane in the third quarter and landed awkwardly, losing his left shoe. However, the big man quickly put the shoe back on and remained in the game. It brought back memories of when the then-Duke freshman sensation injured his knee in February 2019 when his foot ripped through the side of his shoe as he attempted to plant his foot … Michael Porter Jr. scored a career-high 37 points and Nikola Jokic had a triple-double to help the Denver Nuggets top the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-113, in overtime. Jokic had 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and OT to help Denver strengthen its hold on third place in the Western Conference.