NBA Game Summary - San Antonio at Orlando
(Tuesday, March 25th)
Final Score: San Antonio 107, Orlando 97
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili exploded for 28 points and five assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 107-97 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Michael Finley dropped in a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, as San Antonio tied the Houston Rockets for the third seed in the Western Conference. Tim Duncan recorded a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds as the Spurs ripped off 15 straight points in the third quarter, on the way to their fourth straight victory.
Bruce Bowen and Tony Parker added 11 points apiece to the balanced attack. Parker also dished out a game-high nine assists.
Dwight Howard pulled down a phenomenal 21 rebounds to go along with 24 points for the Magic. Rashard Lewis added 24 points of his own, as Orlando lost for just the third time in its last 13 home affairs.
The Magic, losers of three of their last four, received production off the bench from Keyon Dooling and Carlos Arroyo, who chipped in 19 and 17 points, respectively. The Magic firmly in the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Magic played admirably despite starters Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson leaving the game in the first half. Turkoglu left with a sprained right wrist, and Nelson exited with a jaw contusion after Howard incidentally elbowed the point guard in the face. Both will be reevaluated on Wednesday.
"It's a sprain right now," Turkoglu said of his injury. "Getting an MRI tomorrow. Hopefully it's not too serious so it won't keep me away from playing. So cross your fingers."
Orlando took the lead out of halftime with a 9-1 run. After a Spurs timeout, however, the tide completely shifted back to San Antonio. A Finley jumper with two minutes left in the third capped a 15-0 Spurs spurt for a 76-69 lead with 2:14 remaining.
"We missed some opportunities, missed some lay-ups, turned the ball over on fast breaks." Lewis said. "We played good defense but we couldn't convert running out."
Lewis' three-point play at the 1:37 mark proved to be the only field goal for Orlando in the final eight minutes of the third. San Antonio, meanwhile, had its way on the offensive end, as Duncan's two free throws with under a minute remaining gave the Spurs an 80-73 advantage going into the final stanza.
In the seemingly never-ending see-saw battle, Orlando crept back into the game with solid defense and Howard getting more touches. Lewis drilled a three- pointer at the midway point of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to, 87-85.
The Spurs again had the answer though, scoring 13 of the games next 17 points, as an uncontested Duncan layup with 1:30 left gave the visitors a 100-89 lead, making the final score all but a formality.
"We are just slow and steady," Duncan said of his team. "We are trying to get to the point we are playing those 48 minutes the right way. We are headed in that direction. It is coming down to crunch time here and we are healthy and have been for a little while. That is a big part of it."
In a fast-paced first quarter, Howard and Duncan went right at each other, tallying nine and eight points, respectively. The back-and-forth affair featured a whopping 11 lead changes, as the Magic took a slim 29-28 lead heading into the second quarter.
An emphatic Howard dunk over an unsuspecting Parker at the 4:42 mark of the second put the Magic ahead, 47-42. The throw-down woke up the Spurs, who quickly went on a 13-2 run over the next three minutes. By intermission, Orlando had cut into the deficit and trailed, 58-56 at the break.
The Spurs posted a 128-110 victory on November 21 over the Magic in the only other meeting between the squads this season...Coming into this game, San Antonio led the Western Conference in points allowed per game (91.0 ppg.) and was tops in defending against three-pointers, allowing foes to hit 33.7 percent...The Magic had their streak of 10 straight games with at least 10 three-pointers snapped...Both squads drained seven three- pointers in the contest...Howard had averaged just 9.0 ppg in his previous three games...Orlando had the same home and away record coming into the game...Orlando owned a 41-35 edge in rebounds...San Antonio shot 54.1 percent from the field, to Orlando's 45.5 percent...The Spurs host the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, while Orlando's next game is at Milwaukee on Friday.
03/25 23:02:40 ET