ORLANDO – the Orlando Magic (5-7) defeated the San Antonio Spurs (5-7) 111-109 at Amway center on Friday nightie a battle of teams trying get in their playoff form from last season.
The Magic played without Jonathan Isaac for the first time this season. Isaac is Orlando’s most effective defender and is third in the league in shot blocks with 2.8 blocks per game.
Al-Farouq Aminu, -aka- “Chief” stepped in and is 7-foot wing span helped to make things difficult for San Antonio.
Making shots counts too, and Evan Fournier finally came to form on offense with 26 points, including 5 of 6 shooting from deep.
Fournier was followed by Terence Ross who gave the Magic 20 points including 7-13 shooting and 3 3-point shots.
The Magic struggled at points in the game, especially in the first half. The Spurs held the Magic to 36% shooting in the first half and 5 Orlando Turnovers in the first quarter got them started rough.
“To be honest with you, it started in the first half with the turnovers” said Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford. “Five turnovers in 12 minutes. Turning the ball over five times in 12 minutes…it’s hard to play well.”
The Spurs got 8 points off of those turnovers, and ended the first quarter leading 31-24.
The Magic righted the ship in the second quarter as far as the turnovers go, by only committing two, and managed to stay close in the scoring with the spurs adding 25 and the Magic close behind, scoring 23 in the second, but the half time score was 56-47, and the boys in blue had some work to do.
Through the third Quarter, Orlando ticked up the scoring, 32-26 over the Spurs, scoring 41 points. The Magic went 4-8 from deep with shots from Fournier and Ross to help them catch up.
Remarkably, Spurs star center Lemarcus Aldridge went scoreless in the first half, but woke up in the third quarter with 8 points.
Coach Gregg Popovich’s comments when asked about Aldridge’s scoring in the game?
“Yes,” said Popovich “in the first half he didn’t score and in the second half he scored 13”
The big difference of the night was free throws.
Orlando had a steady attack on the basket and managed to get to the line 34 times. Compare this to the Spurs 10 times and you can see the difference.
DeMar Derozen managed 21 points for the Spurs and was a nuisance with his drives and mid-range shots. Aldrige and Patty Mills both contributed 13.
The Magic were happy to get a quality win tonight.
“It was great, man. It was great” said Magic forward Aaron Gordon “That’s what we’ve been talking about: Bringing that energy up on defense and staying patient on offense.Everybody played the game and let the game come to them, and we had some big shots in the stretch.”
the Magic next face the Washington Wizards on Sunday November 17th at the Amway Center.