With the San Antonio Spurs playing without Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and with Tim Duncan playing only the first half, the Orlando Magic figured to be competitive against the Spurs, and they were for three quarters, before San Antonio broke the game open in the fourth quarter in the 98-84 victory over the Magic.
San Antonio's depth was a major factor in the Spurs' victory, as their reserves outscored the Orlando reserves 59-23, more than making up for the fact the Magic starters outscored the Spurs' starters 61-39.
The game was closer than the final score might indicate, as Orlando trailed just 74-70 with 10:37 remaining in the game after E'Twaun Moore split a pair of free throws. The Magic then went stone cold, scoring only two points in the next 6:37 of action, as they missed 11 of 12 shots with the Spurs taking an insurmountable 89-72 lead with 4:16 remaining. Danny Green made two 3-pointers during this game-changing run. Orlando came within 89-79 after a Nik Vucevic layup with 3:03 remaining, but a Patty Mills triple on the next possession put the game away for the Spurs.
San Antonio outshot Orlando 44 percent to 39 percent, outrebounded them 53-47, including 12-9 on the offensive boards, and outscored them 30-18 on 3-pointers.
Spurs' shooting guard Danny Green was their only starter to score in double figures, finishing with a very efficient 20 points on ten shots, while shooting 4-of-7 from long range. The other four starters combined to score just 19 points on 8-of-30 shooting, including four points from Duncan, who played 14 first-half minutes and sat out the second half. Two reserves scored in double figures for San Antonio, with point guard Gary Neal scoring 16 points along with 8 rebounds, and big man Tiago Splitter adding 10 points with 9 boards.
The Magic trotted out yet another different starting lineup, with rookie Andrew Nicholson starting at power forward, and Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris comprising the wing spots. Nicholson played just ten minutes, scoring two points, and was the only Magic starter not in double figures. Harkless led the team in scoring with 18 points, along with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Center Nik Vucevic added a double-double of 16 points, 14 rebounds, and was the only starter to shoot better than 46 percent. Point guard Beno Udrih scored 14 points with 8 assists. Harris struggled shooting for the second straight game, going just 5-of-19 for 11 points along with 4 turnovers, but had a decent all-around game of 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks.
Reserve DeQuan Jones scored all 12 of his points in the first half, while shooting guard Doron Lamb had his best game since coming over from the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting along with 4 rebounds.
It was another slow start for Orlando, just as in the game against the Houston Rockets Monday night. The Magic fell behind 14-4 5:30 into the game, as they missed seven of their first nine shots while committing three turnovers. Orlando settled down though, and went on a 17-7 run to tie the game at 21-21 after a Jones 3-pointer. Jones, coming off the bench, scored ten first-quarter points as the Magic trailed 28-23 going into the second quarter.
San Antonio maintained a close lead throughout the second quarter, and led 51-46 at the half, with Neal scoring 14 points to lead the Spurs in first-half scoring.
Orlando struggled offensively in the second half, scoring just 38 points on 37 percent shooting, while San Antonio scored 47 points on 43 percent shooting.
The Magic road trip continues, as they travel to Chicago to face the injury-plagued Bulls Friday night.