Notebook: Spurs 98, Magic 84



Posted Apr 4, 2013 12:31 AM

By Tim Price, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Danny Green shot 7-for-10 from the floor and scored 20 points, and the San Antonio Spurs managed not to look past the Orlando Magic with a 98-84 victory over Orlando on Wednesday night.

It was hardly about tonight for the Spurs (56-19). Tim Duncan played only 13 ½ minutes, Tony Parker rested a sore ankle and Kawhi Leonard took the night off as San Antonio heads to Oklahoma City for a key Western Conference game with the Thunder on Thursday night. San Antonio is 1 ½ games ahead of OKC for the top seed in the West and has a 2-1 advantage in the season series.

The Magic (19-57), losers in 11 of their last 12 games, got 18 points from Maurice Harkless, but it took him 21 shots to do it as Orlando shot less than 39 percent from the floor. Jameer Nelson missed his third-straight game for Orlando with an ankle sprain. He's possible for Friday's game at Chicago.

QUOTABLE: "It's always good to get the win first. Second of all, the rest [for most of the Spurs notables] will help the team come tomorrow [in Oklahoma City]. Guys are sore and banged up a little bit. So, hopefully they'll come out fresh tomorrow."

-- Danny Green

THE STAT: Even though the Spurs rested most of their key players, the Magic were clearly outmanned. Their bench shot 2-for-10 in the second half as Orlando was held to less than 20 points in both the third and the fourth quarters.

TURNING POINT: Orlando never led, but the Magic cut the Spurs lead to 74-70 with 10 ½ minutes left in the game and forced Nando De Colo (starting for Parker) into a turnover off a halfcourt trap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called timeout and San Antonio outscored Orlando 15-2 during the next 5 ½ minutes. Green hit a pair of 3-pointers and had two assists.

QUOTABLE II: "[The Spurs] are just a team that's been there, done that over and over again. They were able to capitalize on our lack of small details. Those things matter on every possession."

-- Orlando coach (and former Spurs player and assistant) Jacques Vaughn

HOT: Green was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line, 3-for-4 in the second half. It's his best showing from that distance since going 6-for-8 on March 27 at home against the Nuggets.

NOT: It looked like Stephen Jackson was breaking out of a 9-for-30 shooting slump over a seven-game stretch. He went 9-for-18 in his past two games against Miami and Memphis, but tonight he shot 1-for-9 (missing all four of his 3-point shots) until sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter because of what appeared to be an ankle injury. He'll get an MRI tomorrow and likely won't travel to Oklahoma City according to Popovich.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Nikola Vucevic scored 16 points for Orlando, grabbing 14 rebounds with four steals and two blocked shots. The second-year 7-footer out of USC is averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds in three games since returning from a mild concussion. He's also had at least two blocks or steals in each game.

INSIDE THE ARENA: With the Valero Texas Open making its annual stop on the PGA Tour, several golfers were on hand prior to tomorrow's opening round at TPC San Antonio. That included Ian Poulter, ranked 12th in the Official World Golf Rankings and the star of Europe's Ryder Cup team last fall.

ROOKIE WATCH: The Magic have two first-year starters and three other rookies getting plenty of time off the bench. But the Spurs got a boost from Aron Baynes, the former Washington State post player who had a career-high nine points with five rebounds (two of them offensive) and 4-for-6 shooting in almost 18 minutes. A member of the Australian national team at the London Olympics, he's played 12 games for the Spurs since his signing from the European League in late January.

NOTABLE: Tiago Splitter came of the bench tonight, breaking a streak of 50-straight games that he was a starter, dating back to Dec. 15. He joined the Spurs' other starters in getting rest, playing just 16 ½ minutes yet almost recording a double-double (10 points, nine rebounds). ... DeJuan Blair also missed the game for the Spurs because of a stomach virus. ... A loss by the Spurs would have been their first three-game losing streak since March 2011.

UP NEXT: For the Magic, Friday @ Chicago, Sunday @ Cleveland, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee. For the Spurs, Thursday @ Oklahoma City, Saturday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Denver.