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San Antonio vs. Orlando, Final Score: Magic use second half burst to run Spurs off the floor, 133-113

In a competitive affair with over a dozen ties and lead changes, it was a flurry of threes by Orlando that repelled San Antonio back

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic
Keldon Johnson competed well in his welcomed return to the line-up despite the stunning blowout loss
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

A highly competitive game between Orlando and San Antonio was quickly undone in a finishing flourish spanning the third and fourth periods spearheaded by hot shooting from Mo Bamba, Paolo Banchero, and Cole Anthony and seeminly whomever else the Magic had in the game.

San Antonio paired hopeful 7-0 and 12-0 runs in the second quarter to stake its claim to the lead, but Orlando knotted the game up at the half. The Spurs’ improved offensive rebounding opened just enough possessions to keep pace with the hosts for nearly three quarters.

Orlando’s Cole Anthony (23 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists), Franz Wagner (21 points and 4 rebounds), and Paolo Banchero (18 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists) led a devastating scoring attack that shot 60% in the first half and maintained that torrid pace throughout with the help of 30 assists.

San Antonio was paced by Keldon Johnson (17 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds), Tre Jones (16 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds), and Jeremy Sochan (13 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists) with underwhelming center production again.


  • In the case you want to know the real definition of BEEF, this is a great read!
  • The best Spurs Christmas memory for me: 2008 - Roger Mason, Jr. provides the game winning three from the deep corner to send 19000+ Suns fans home unhappy.
  • The little things that matter: The musical offerings each had holiday sounds! For instance, “Here we go, Magic” ended with cheery jingling bells.
  • Vassell must be at or near the top of the league in shots that go some form of in-and-out of the hoop.
  • Orlando’s mascot, Stuff, shoots string out of its nostrils like boogers. That alone makes the Coyote vastly superior.
  • The (Bol)2 Experience: The 7’2” swingman hit a smooth baseline jumper to start his scoring. Then used his long limb to tip in a shot that he a teammate missed. Later, he swished a pair of threes. Bol later snatched a loose ball out of a scrum late in the half to soar for a Nerf dunk. #proofofplayerdevelopment
  • Sequence of the Game #1: In the opening moments, Vassell stole an errant pass and raced past one of the Wagner brothers for a smooth layup.
  • Sequence of the Game #2: Midway through the first, Point Sochan, on an after timeout play, handed it off to a cutting Johnson (Keldon) for a soaring slam.
  • Rookie Comparison: Though Banchero is eons ahead of Sochan at the offensive end, it’s worth noting that Jeremy shoulders so much responsibility only 32 games into his career.
  • Partway through the opening half, Magic players were shown each respectfully trying to sing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is you.” I want to hear Keldon’s solo performance of this song!
  • In a league of interchangeable constantly-changing rosters, it seems like Orlando has a group of old hands: Bamba, Terrence Ross, Gary Harris, etc.
  • In a very fast-paced start, both Johnson’s (Keldon) and Vassell’s first three attempts looked true, and their teammates had their hands active in the passing lanes. Both teams shot well out of the gate, but Orlando’s length visibly bothered the visitors. A Sochan and-1 pulled San Antonio within two. Johnson (Stanley) nabbed and offensive rebound and an assist in his early action. The Magic shot 72%, and with Bol’s 12 points, left the quarter up 34-28.
  • Johnson’s (Stanley) long two stepback, Tre Jones reverse layup, and Vassell’s pull-up three opened the second. Sochan gifted Poeltl a dump pass for a Jak Jam to tie things at 42. McDermott’s second bomb returned the lead back to the Spurs. Johnson’s (Keldon) moonball and free throws capped a 12-0 run to put San Antonio up eight. After a Markelle Fultz dunk, Malaki Branham found a streaking Johnson (Keldon) for an and-1 seconds later. A Banchero and-1 and pull-up three swung the game eight points after a Vassell turnover. Cole Anthony’s and-1 tied things at 61.
  • Coming out of the break, a pair of Sochan and Jakob Poeltl tips steadied San Antonio. Just as I was about to type that the Spurs were staying out of foul trouble, Poeltl picked up his 3rd and 4th fairly quickly. Orlando got into the penalty only four minutes into the frame, and Sochan picked up his 4th foul shortly after. Orlando’s second delay of game allowed Josh Richardson to get a freebie. Johnson’s (Stanley) corner three put the Spurs briefly up seven. Banchero’s third three and lob to Wendell Carter, Jr. gave the Magic the lead back. A hot closing finish by Orlando had San Antonio down five exiting the third.
  • A trio of Wagner, Anthony, and Bambas threes overwhelmed the stunned Spurs. Despite picking up his fifth foul, Sochan stayed on the court and got a lay-up. Another pair of Bamba threes put the Magic up 15. The Wagner brothers took turns hitting threes. The Magic kept the foot on the gas until Pop waved the white flag and sent in the bench.
  • Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and a safe and balmy holidays!

For the Magic fan’s perspective, please visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

San Antonio takes on Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz on Monday night at 5:00 PM CDT.