This probably isn’t a Spurs team anyone had penciled in to break the franchise record for threes in a game, but they did it tonight against an Orlando Magic team that is on the rise and full of young talent. After getting down 8-2 early, the Spurs went on a 9-0 run and never looked back on their way to a 132-114 win, in large part thanks to those 22 threes and 39 assists on 48 made field goals.
Jeremy Sochan exploded for 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach Collins had another tremendous night with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists to lead six Spurs in double figures. The Magic had seven players scored in double figures, led by possible Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero with 27 points.
- This might be my favorite Sochan hair yet: bleached with what looks like an indigo spray painted on top. On one hand, it’s tacky looking, but on the other it’s creative without being overbearing. (Also, the Jewish half of me sees a yamaka, even though my dad’s family is reformed and doesn’t wear yamakas.)
- Collins continued his offensive tear, scoring 11 of the Spurs first 17 while also recording three rebounds and two blocks during his first stint on the court. Doug McDermott, Julian Champagnie and Blake Wesley also contributed some threes off the bench, and the Spurs led by nine after the first quarter.
- Wesley is probably one of the fastest players in the league, and when he learns to let the game slow down for him, he’ll be a handful. Quite often he’ll start acting before he has a plan and ends up losing the ball or in no man’s land, but he looked a lot more in control tonight. Playing as backup point guard, he calmly held the ball for their final possession before moving it around and swishing a three once he got it back. He also drove for a huge dunk over the 7’2” Bol Bol and hit another three to open the second quarter. Tonight, he had a career-high seven assists to go along with 12 points.
- Sandro Mamukelashvili came in advertised as a shooter, but with the Spurs again shorthanded on ball handlers with Keldon Johnson, Tre Jones and Malaki Branham out with injury, it was point-guard-by-committee, especially for the bench unit with Devonte’ Graham starting. While Mamu didn’t score in the first half, he had three assists, including two picture-perfect lobs to Jeremy Sochan. The Spurs hit 10 threes in the first half for a 67-61 halftime lead.
- The Spurs remained hot from three after halftime. They hit five more to open the third quarter and found themselves up by 17 on an 11-0 run when Orlando called timeout with 7:49 left. Sochan hit their sixth straight at the shot clock buzzer beater soon after before Keita Bates-Diop finally missed on a desperation three.
- Of course, despite the Spurs’ dominance from three, the Magic were no slouches on offense for most of the night and refused to go away quietly, taking advantage of Spurs turnovers and the offensive glass to get back within nine heading into the fourth quarter. They had an answer every time the Spurs got back to double digits in the fourth and were in the bonus early, but after getting within six points, the Spurs started hitting their threes again, stopped fouling, and cruised to victory.
- Overall, the Spurs made a franchise record 22 threes for the game on 41 attempts. It’s only the third time in franchise history they’ve hit 20 or more. Every Spur who had an attempt made one. McDermott let the way with five threes, Bates-Diop had four, Collins and Sochan each hit three, Wesley and Mamukelashvili had two, and Devin Vassell, Graham, and Champagnie each hit one. Dominick Barlow and Charles Bassey were the only Spurs who played but didn’t take/make a three.
- Bassey took a hard fall after blocking a Magic shot at the end of first quarter and was slow to get up. He did not return, with Barlow taking his place as backup center after that. Pop said after the game he may have cracked his patella (the knee cap) but not to quote him on that, so if that’s accurate he may be out for the season. We should know more tomorrow.
For the Magic fans’ perspective, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
The Spurs will be right back at it tomorrow against the Dallas Mavericks. Tipoff will be at 7:30 PM CT on KENS 5.