SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 15 (Ticker) --
The San Antonio Spurs needed a spark
and got some competitive fire from Manu Ginobili
Ginobili scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the
Spurs stormed back from a 10-point deficit for a 94-91 victory
over the Orlando Magic.
NBA TV highlights from |
After waltzing through the first half, the Spurs scored just 12
points in the third quarter, allowing a 10-point lead to turn
into a 76-66 deficit at the outset of the fourth quarter.
Quiet to that point, Ginobili displayed some of his trademark
energy in the final period. He had a 3-pointer, a pair of
driving layups and two free throws to close the gap to 82-80
with 6:52 to go.
"I hit a three and made some defensive plays and I started to
play more aggressive," Ginobili said. "I really needed to make
a couple of shots and the fourth quarter helped my confidence a
lot. When a couple of things go well, it helps you get more
confident and play well."
"He played with poise," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
picked and chose. He did a good job passing the ball when in a
crowd and a good job going to the hole when it was open."
A floater by Ginobili and a driving dunk by Devin Brown
Antonio the lead for good at 87-86 with 4:23 left. Brown added
a floater in the lane for a 94-89 bulge with 1:02 to play, and
the Spurs held on.
Orlando's Steve Francis
made two free throws, and the Magic had
a chance to tie after Ginobili missed a drive. But Francis
dribbled inside the arc, then back out before launching an
airball that went out of bounds as time expired.
In the final period, San Antonio shot 10-of-20 from the floor
and limited Orlando to 3-of-18.
"They are an experienced team and it really showed in the last
few minutes," Magic coach Johnny Davis
had 24 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks and Tony Parker
scored 13 points for the Spurs, who have won 10 of their
last 12 games but did not look impressive. Starters Parker,
and Rasho Nesterovic
sat for virtually the entire
Playing for Parker, rookie Beno Udrih
had a pair of 3-pointers
in the final period, including one that pulled the Spurs within
84-83 with 6:03 to go. Malik Rose
scored 12 points, sinking two
free throws and a jumper to help open a 92-88 lead with 2:42
"I'm pleased with the win," Popovich said. "The bench got it
done for us. It was a team effort."
scored 21 points and Francis added 20 for the
Magic, who completed a 2-4 road trip. Mobley and Francis, who
spent five seasons together in Houston, fell to 0-11 as a tandem
in San Antonio.
Rookie Dwight Howard
had a tough game, making just 1-of-7 shots
before fouling out in the final period. His early foul trouble
contributed to Orlando's 54-48 halftime deficit.
"Dwight can learn from a night like this and he will continue to
get better," Davis said.
A basket by Duncan made it 58-48 early in the third quarter, but
Mobley scored 11 points in the period - one fewer than San