NBA Game Summary - Orlando at San Antonio
(Friday, April 2nd)
Final Score: San Antonio 112, Orlando 100
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 43 points, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 112-100 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Tim Duncan added 23 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who moved a half- game in front of idle Portland for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. They could have clinched a playoff spot had Memphis lost Friday, but the Grizzlies topped New Orleans.
"I think people tend to forget how good he really is," said the Spurs' Antonio McDyess of Ginobili. "It seemed like he has gotten his stride back and is playing like the way that he used to - he is only helping us by playing terrific right now."
Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus had 18 points apiece to lead six Magic players in double-figures. J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson each had 15 points for Orlando, which cannot finish with the Eastern Conference's top seed after Cleveland beat Atlanta on Friday to secure that position. However, the Magic did retain their 4 1/2-game lead over the Hawks in the Southeast Division.
Dwight Howard was held to 10 points and six boards before fouling out.
Orlando fought an uphill battle in the fourth quarter, and with 5:08 left, Redick sank two free throws to get the Magic within 98-94.
However, after Ginobili went 1-for-2 from the line, Howard missed two attempts and Redick's three was off the mark. That left the door open for Ginobili, who hit from beyond the arc for a 102-94 advantage.
San Antonio had an answer for each Orlando score down the stretch in taking the win. Duncan's jumper with 1:23 to play made it a 108-98 contest, and the Spurs cruised from there.
"Offensively we were decent, and so we kept ourselves in the game, gave ourselves a chance in the last five minutes or so," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But we just couldn't stop them at all."
Ginobili turned in a consistent scoring effort in the first half, going for 10 in the first and 12 in the second.
That helped the Spurs stay in a tight contest, in which neither team led by more than six over the first two quarters. San Antonio held a 29-27 edge after one, but the Magic moved in front in the second.
Jason Williams and Pietrus made back-to-back threes for a 42-38 lead with over seven minutes left, and Orlando carried a 56-54 edge into the break.
However, Ginobili poured in 13 points in the third quarter as the Spurs re- took the lead. He banked in a shot before drilling a three to spark a nine- point burst that had San Antonio ahead 70-65 with 5:25 left.
The Spurs pushed the advantage to 87-78 moving into the fourth before Orlando opened the final quarter with seven straight points to stay in the contest.
Ginobili's previous season-high was 38. His career high is 48...The teams split the two-game season series...The Spurs play five of their final seven games on the road, where they are 18-18 this season. They begin a three-game trip Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers...Orlando starts a three-game homestand Sunday against Memphis...Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter after getting his second technical foul.
04/03 03:42:37 ET