It was one of those nights for the San Antonio Spurs. While the home team struggled to get much to go down on offense (with plenty of shots rolling in and out), the Orlando Magic — the worst scoring team in the league and second-worst three-point shooting team — came to town and shot lights out, hitting 12 threes while shooting over 50% from the floor . . . and the Spurs still almost made an insane comeback from 26 points down in the fourth quarter to get within 5 before being held off for a 110-117 loss.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 25 points, while five other Spurs scored in double-figures. Six Magic players also scored in double-figures, led by 26 for Aaron Gordon.
- Early on the Magic looked like a freshly rested team while the Spurs looked like they missed that extra hour of sleep after a big win last night. The Magic couldn’t miss as they shot 14-21 in the first quarter, along with 8 FTs to the Spurs’ none, on the way to a 36-26 lead. The Spurs shot well, hitting 12-22 shots themselves, but gave up 4 TOs for 9 points.
- Davis Bertans got the start in place of Rudy Gay, who is nursing a sore heel. He’s had his moments this season and has shot the ball well, but he has arguably been one of the Spurs’ bigger disappointments while averaging just 5 points despite receiving a decent raise this summer. This felt like he could be primed for one of his outburst nights, but it didn’t happen. He finished the night with 8 points and 5 rebounds on 3-10 shooting.
- Jakob Poeltl got some second quarter burn. While the Spurs’ play was still sporadic, their energy certainly picked up as he crashed the offensive glass and played some solid D.
- The Spurs got the favor returned from the refs in the second quarter with 15 FTs (making them all), and it was a good thing because they shot 6-21 from the field in the quarter.
- Pop decided to start the third quarter big with Poeltl replacing Dante Cunningham. The Spurs hit their first two buckets of the third quarter and briefly appeared to have rightened the ship, but the Magic immediately went on an 11-0 run and couldn’t miss as they hit six-straight threes at one point in the third and led by 20 heading into the final frame.
- It felt like the Spurs’ night was over, but the third unit managed to make things interesting with a 9-0 early run to cut a 26-point deficit to 17 with about 7 minutes left, and Pop re-inserted his starters, who continued the torrid comeback.
- Two foul calls felt extremely costly in this game. The first was a loose-ball foul on Poeltl on an offensive rebound early in the third. There were three Magic players around him, but replays clearly showed no foul on his attempt to grab the rebound. What should have been an easy lay-up for him and cut their lead to seven turned into a three for Orlando, which started that aforementioned streak six-straight threes. Then, after as the Spurs were making their mad dash back and were within 5 with just under two minutes left, D.J. Augustin stepped out of bounds as he was falling away on an offensive rebound. The officials said he was pushed by Patty Mills, and again replays showed he clearly wasn’t. The Magic scored two points on the ensuing possession, and that, for the most part, was the nail in the coffin for the Spurs.
- I get that Nike has the final say on what uniforms each team wears, but where did they get the idea that making the home team wear their road jerseys and road team wear their home ones should be a thing? All it did from my televised perspective is make the Spurs blend into the paint and background.
- I’m still flabbergasted that home-home back-to-backs are so rare. They would seem to be healthier for the players than playing in two different locations in two nights, but I guess the league generally avoids them because it’s harder for fans to attend games two nights in a row.
For the Magic Fan’s perspective, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
The Spurs return to the court on Wednesday in Miami to take on the Heat. Tip-off will be at 6:30 PM CT on FSSW.