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Spurs 109, Magic 91: Second-quarter surge propels San Antonio past Orlando

San Antonio made quick work of the Magic on Black Friday.

Kawhi Leonard and Arron Afflalo
Kawhi Leonard and Arron Afflalo
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports

The San Antonio Spurs ended the Orlando Magic's two-game winning streak with ease on Black Friday, using a 17-0 run in the second quarter to take control of the game and never relenting. Duncan finished with 19 points and nine rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting in just 24 minutes, leading a San Antonio team which lacked, in Tony Parker, its All-Star starting point guard.

Orlando played without its point guard as well, with Jameer Nelson nursing a sprained left foot. Victor Oladipo shifted from shooting guard to point guard in Nelson's absence and finished with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal, and three blocks on 6-of-14 shooting from the field.

Marco Bellineli added 19 points off the bench for San Antonio. Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points, while Glen Davis contributed 10 points and eight rebounds. In his head-to-head matchup with the legendary Duncan, Nikola Vučević struggled, going just 4-of-12 from the floor for 12 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high eight turnovers in 34 minutes.

In his first start at point guard, Oladipo mostly acquitted himself, at least in the first quarter: apart from committing a shooting foul with one-tenth of a second remaining in the period, he played smart ball, going 3-of-5 from the floor for seven points and just one turnover. Within the first two minutes and four seconds, Oladipo had twice sliced through the Spurs' defense off the dribble for in-traffic at the rim, once with the left hand off the glass and again with his right.

But the Spurs were less concerned with Oladipo than they were with Vučević: they worked to limit his availability on his dives to the rim, taking away one of the most efficient actions in Orlando's arsenal. Davis and Afflalo picked up some of Vučević's scoring slack, combining for 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the period.

Orlando found itself trailing, 29-24, after one because of its poor defense and lax rebounding: the Spurs shot 11-of-18 (61.5 percent) in the frame, with Tim Duncan hitting each of his first four shots before short-rimming a jump hook against Vučević at the 4:26 mark. Orlando's decision not to double-team the post allowed Duncan to score with relative ease inside, and Kawhi Leonard benefitted as well working off the ball. The Spurs outrebounded the Magic by a 12-5 margin.

The Magic's second unit kept it afloat for the first six minutes of the second period before the Spurs took command. A three-pointer by Ronnie Price brought Orlando to within a point at the six-minute mark, but over the next 3:53 of game action, San Antonio built its lead to 18 with crisp ball movement and, not to be too obvious, shot-making. Afflalo ended the 17-0 run with a trio of foul shots: two off a Duncan foul and another off the ensuing Duncan technical, as the veteran center disagreed with the personal call against him.

Vučević sank a long two-pointer for the final points of the first half. When that shot found the bottom of the net with 35 seconds to go, 5:25 had elapsed without an Orlando field goal. The Spurs held a commanding 65-43 lead and a 24-11 edge on the glass. Duncan, as he has for 17 seasons, led the way for San Antonio: in just 16 minutes, he tallied 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Spurs opened the second half in a rut of their own, missing each of their first eight shots as the Magic closed to within 12 points. A three-pointer from Manu Ginóbili ended that futility streak and put the Spurs up 15, prompting a Magic timeout. Even with San Antonio firing blanks from the field, Orlando managed to shave just three points off its halftime deficit because it kept sending the Spurs to the foul line, where they went 7-of-7 in that stretch.

Oladipo fueled the Magic on a 10-2 run to close the third quarter, bringing Orlando to within 11 points of the Spurs. He drained two free throws, blocked a Jeff Ayres jumper to kick-start a fast break, and made two layups in traffic in that stretch, largely against the Spurs' second unit.

Marco Belinelli opened the fourth quarter with consecutive three-pointers--his third and fourth of the game, in as many attempts--to put San Antonio back up 17 points. Between those baskets, the referees whistled Vučević for his second offensive basket interference violation of the night as he tipped in a Magic miss, though replay indicated that the ball had escaped the cylinder by the time the Magic big man touched it. NBA rules do not allow referees to review such calls in that particular situation.

Afflalo sank a pull-up 18 footer with 7:11 to play in the game for Orlando's first points of the fourth. The Spurs had extended their lead to 23 points by then, however, and their victory was already assured.

In garbage time, Maurice Harkless drained his second and third three-pointers of the game, tying a career-high. Friday's was his third straight appearance coming off the bench. He joined Solomon Jones, Kyle O'Quinn, Doron Lamb, and Price as Orlando's closers.