NBA Game Summary - San Antonio at Orlando
(Thursday, December 18th)
Final Score: Orlando 90, San Antonio 78
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Orlando Magic welcomed back Dwight Howard with a 90-78 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Nelson also logged seven assists, while Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu added 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Magic, who have won three straight overall and five consecutive at home.
Howard, who missed Orlando's previous two games due to a knee injury, battled through foul trouble for most of the game but still finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
"It was definitely a big win," said Lewis. "The Spurs are great team. I thought we played together hard on the defensive end. A lot of guys, like Jameer, stepped up in the fourth quarter."
Tim Duncan posted 19 points to go with nine boards for San Antonio, which was coming off a road loss to New Orleans on Wednesday that halted a six-game win streak. Tony Parker shot an ugly 3-for-17 from the field to finish with nine points, while Manu Ginobili and Roger Mason each tallied 10 points in defeat.
Mason's two three-balls spearheaded a 13-2 San Antonio run early in the fourth quarter that saw Howard go to the bench with his fifth foul at the 8:21 mark.
With Orlando's lead dwindled down to 71-65, Nelson stepped up with two quick baskets -- one a layup and the other a jumper in the corner -- to make it a double-digit game once again.
Another deep Nelson basket followed by his driving layup in traffic ended a 12-2 run three minutes later, and Orlando was comfortably ahead 83-67 with four minutes left and never looked back.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter as Orlando held a 19-13 lead before waking up in the second frame. A 14-2 stretch was highlighted by three-pointers from Keith Bogans and Lewis that made it 40-21 Magic late in the second.
Orlando's 15-point halftime lead was expanded early after the break thanks to three straight jumpers from Nelson. Howard added a reverse layup and another Nelson field goal capped a 10-0 run with 8:30 to play in the frame.
That stretch made it 54-31 in favor of Orlando, but the Spurs scored eight of the last 10 points of the frame to get within 65-52.
"I think our players can take great satisfaction in showing a lot of competiveness and hanging in in a tough situation," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "Going down by 23, I thought they showed a lot of class and a lot of competiveness hanging in the game, doing what they did."
The Spurs had won three straight and 11 of the previous 14 meetings in the series...Courtney Lee added 10 points for Orlando...The Spurs shot 37.5 percent from the field (30-of-80), while Orlando made 44.7 percent of its shots (38-of-85).
12/19 00:07:38 ET