NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (19-44) at San Antonio Spurs (45-16), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs are coming off perhaps their best win of the season and look to make it six straight wins Saturday versus another team from the Sunshine State, the Orlando Magic.
In a rematch of last season's NBA Finals, the Spurs laid the wood to the two- time defending champion Miami Heat with Thursday's 111-87 victory in the Alamo City. Tim Duncan had 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Tony Parker and Boris Diaw scored 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Kawhi Leonard rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points for the Spurs, who took advantage of 21 Miami turnovers by posting 21 points and had a 37-22 advantage following 12 minutes of play. The Spurs scored 29 of the 42 points in the fourth quarter to dispatch the Heat.
"I'm sure this has some special meaning, to say something different would be silly," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of the win.
Popovich's squad has won five in a row and eight of nine games, and is just a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the West's top seed.
The Spurs are unbeaten in their last five games at home and have a 22-8 record at the AT&T Center. They will get some time off after Saturday's game and won't play again until Tuesday at Chicago.
San Antonio is one of the top teams in scoring and opponents' scoring this season, allowing 97.9 points and posting 104.4 ppg.
Meanwhile, the Magic have alternated results over the past five games and lost for the seventh time in 10 chances with Wednesday's 101-89 defeat to Houston. The Magic won the previous time out versus Philadelphia.
In the Houston loss, Arron Afflalo scored 18 points, Nikola Vucevic added 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Moe Harkless netted 15 points. Tobias Harris rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points for Orlando.
The Magic led 32-19 after the first quarter and by as many as 14 in the first half. They were hammered by 17 in the third quarter (34-17).
It didn't help the Magic were without their top two guards in rookie Victor Oladipo (sore left ankle) and veteran point guard Jameer Nelson (illness). The two are listed as day-to-day.
"You're missing that ability to create shots and then also defensively," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of playing without his two guards. "The guys who played tonight played extremely well, but you miss a lot with those two guys being out."
Orlando is only 4-28 on the road this season and snapped its team record-tying 16-game road losing streak against the Sixers on Feb. 26. The Magic then lost at Miami on March 1.
The Magic will visit Milwaukee on Monday and lost the first meeting with San Antonio this season, a 109-91 setback in central Florida on Nov. 29. Duncan had 19 points in that one to pace the Spurs, as they recorded their fifth straight win in this series.
Orlando has lost four straight and 18 of its last 21 games in San Antonio.
03/08 11:01:30 ET