Returning home after winning a pair of games in Mexico City, the Orlando Magic welcomed the surging San Antonio Spurs to the Amway Center. San Antonio controlled the game from the opening tip, running the Magic out of the building, 129-90.
Playing without Nikola Vucevic for the first time this season, it was expected that the Magic would have some struggles, especially on the offensive end. Those struggles reared their ugly head early, with the team struggling to find quality shots, with multiple possessions featuring endless dribbling, and little to no ball movement. Despite not having Vucevic’s playmaking, and shotmaking ability out there, the Magic still fought to 50 percent from the field in the opening quarter.
Defensively, they struggled with the Spurs off ball movement, and getting back in transition, giving up 10 fast break points in the quarter. San Antonio also made five three’s in the quarter, and shot a blistering 63.2 percent from the field to lead by seven, 31-24, after one.
Things got out of hand, and fast, for the Magic in the second quarter. San Antonio’s red hot shooting from deep continued, with Marco Belinelli and Davis Bertans knocking down five three’s off the Spurs bench to quickly push their lead well over double digits. No matter the quality of the shot, heavily defended, off the dribble, or wide open, the Spurs were making them, and the Magic were missing them on the other end.
Their struggles offensively, coupled with their inability to get a stop, clearly took what little wind the Magic in their sails out of it. The Spurs, who shot 67.5 percent from the floor, and knocked down 10 three-pointers, pushed their lead to as many as 25 against a clearly outmatched Magic bunch. At the half, San Antonio had total control of the game, leading by 22, 66-44.
Out of halftime, things continued to fly downhill for the Magic. The Spurs shooting didn’t regress any, as they continued to pick the Magic apart at every aspect of the game, pushing their lead to 31 late in the third.
Desperately searching for any spark whatsoever, the Magic turned to a small ball lineup featuring Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon as the four and the five. It gave them brief moments of life, but never anything sustainable, with the Spurs still getting anything they wanted on both ends. After three, San Antonio was still in control, up 104-77.
Looking to build something for their up coming games, the Magic left many of their rotation players n for the beginning of the fourth quarter. Gordon, who struggled mightily in the first three quarters, showed some brief signs of life, knocking own a pair of three balls.
Jonathon Simmons turned his right ankle late in the third quarter and did not return for the Magic. Simmons had previously hurt the ankle during a practice in Mexico City, but still played in both games.
The Spurs shot over 60 percent from the floor, marking the 16th time such an occurrence has happened against the Magic. It’s the second time San Antonio has done so, with them having previously done so on December 12th, 1997 when they shot 62.8 percent from the floor.