Magic’s Defense Flounders Against Spurs

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Paolo Banchero led seven Orlando players in double figures with 27 points, Wendell Carter Jr. recorded his 18th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Cole Anthony scored 14, but the Orlando Magic had no answer for the hot-shooting San Antonio Spurs in Tuesday’s 132-114 loss at the AT&T Center.  

Key Stat

The Spurs knocked down a franchise-record 22 3-pointers. Their previous best was 20. This was the second time this season an opponent set a club record for most threes made in a game against the Magic. The Kings on Jan. 9 buried a team-record 23 3-pointers at home against Orlando.  

Key Stretches

The Spurs built a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter with a 16-5 run. Devonte’ Graham, acquired by San Antonio from New Orleans at the trade deadline, started that flurry with a 3-pointer. Jeremy Sochan made two triples during that stretch and Devin Vassell hit one as well. San Antonio also outscored Orlando 20-8 to end the game.  

Quote of the Day

“We were just late in a lot of our rotations. I think they did a great job just moving the ball, not being stagnant. We were always just a step behind on the defensive end. They were making everything, especially from three. When a team’s hot like that, it’s just hard to stop them. But at the same time, you got to try and do a better job of getting them out of rhythm at the start of the game, so they don’t let that carry over for the rest of the game. We weren’t able to do that.” - Banchero

Injury/Inactive Report

Jonathan Isaac (left adductor surgery) was out for the Magic. Keldon Johnson (left foot soreness), Khem Birch (right knee; chondromalacia), Malaki Branham (right shoulder impingement), Tre Jones (illness), and Romeo Langford (left adductor soreness/injury management) were unavailable for the Spurs. 

This Day in History

On March 14, 2018, Jonathon Simmons erupted for 35 points, D.J. Augustin exploded for 32, and Nikola Vucevic filled up the box score with 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, as the Magic defeated the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 38 points for the Bucks, while Khris Middleton scored 22. 

Rivals Report

The Spurs have some young talent to be excited about. They’ll be adding a high draft pick to the mix this year as well. It’s still a little too early to know whether anyone on this current roster has the potential to be an All-Star level player down the road. The one that seems to have the highest ceiling, though, is Sochan, who’s gotten better and better as the season has gone on. He’s averaging just under 20 points since the All-Star break, which is a big deal because scoring is not considered his main strength.  

Up Next

The Magic’s four-game trip out West continues Thursday when they visit the Phoenix Suns at 10 p.m. ET. The first meeting, which was played at Amway Center on Nov. 11, was won by the Magic. Carter led Orlando in that victory with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Bol Bol recorded 13 points and 15 rebounds. Orlando also made things tough on Devin Booker, who made just six of his 19 shots from the field.