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Spurs Get Revenge, Take Down Magic 112-100


In a strange but highly entertaining game, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Orlando Magic 112-100, getting some revenge after sufering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Magic just over two weeks ago. The game was tight throughout but the Spurs pulled away late in the game, even using the “Hack-a-Howard” strategy. The Magic had six players in double figures, lead by Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus, who scored 18 points a piece. Manu Ginobili was incredible – he had 43 points, six rebounds and five assists. Tim Duncan had 23 points in just 24 minutes.

NBA Stats

NBA Stats


Orlando’s defense looked nothing like the defense that we are used to seeing from the Magic. The Spurs scored 112 points and shot 51.8% frm the field against a team that is tops in the league in defensive efficiency and defensive field goal percentage. The Spurs got to the basket wth ease throughout the night. The Magic had absolutely no answer for San Antonio’s pick-and-roll game, which is how the Spurs were able to have their way inside the paint – they scored 62 down low. The Magic have struggled with their pick-and-roll defense in the past and it looks like it still may be a cause for concern for the Magic.

Manu Ginobili was virtually unstoppable. He scored 43 points on 13-of-25 shooting, nailed three three-pointers and made 14 of his 18 free throw attempts. Ginobili also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists, while turning the ball over just twice. He got to the hoop any time he wanted and was able to finish or draw a foul on seemingly every drive.

Veteran Tim Duncan, who was 1-of-10 from the field against the Magic earlier this season, was very efficient. Despite playing
just five minutes in the first half because he picked up three quick fouls, Duncan managed to score 23 points in just 24 minutes on 10-of-12 shooting. Duncan also grabbed eight rebounds and made all three of his free throws.

Dwight Howard had a rough night. Not only did he play just 24 minutes due to foul trouble, but he wound up fouling out of the game. He only attempted seven shots, hitting four. He finished with 10 points and was 2-of-11 from the foul line. The Spurs even went to a “Hack-a-Howard” strategy, which angered Howard, prompting him to argue with the Spurs’ bench. After he fouled out, Howard was then heckled by a fan behind him, who was eventually asked to leave by security. As mentioned above, Orlando’s interior deense did not play well and that is mostly because Howard could not stay on the court and when he was on the court, he wasn’t nearly as effective because he couldn’t be as aggressive as he usually is. It was just an extremely frustrating night for Howard and you could see it by his actions and the look on his face.

Orlando’s offense was pretty good. The Magic shot an effective field goal percentage of 55.0% and were able to hit 10 three-pointers.

Both J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus were effective off of the bench. Redick was aggressive, continued to put the ball on the floor more and scored 15 points. He wasn’t getting many good looks from beyond the arc, where he went 1-of-3, so he attacked the basket more, wound up shooting 4-of-7 on two-point field goals and was 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Redick also grabbed six rebounds. Pietrus picked up where he left off. After scoring 24 points and shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from beyond the arc Thursday night, he scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and managed to grab six rebounds. Pietrus wanted shoot the ball as soon as he got into the game, showing that he knew his big shooting performance on Thursday night was going to carry over into Friday.

Rashard Lewis was better on offense than he has been in the last few games. He scored 18 points on 7-off-11 shooting and was 4-of-7 from downtown. He made a few nice plays, including hitting Matt Barnes with an extra pass on a fast break that gave Barnes a layup when it looked like Lewis was going to take it himself. He finished with three assists. It’d be nice to see Lewis put the ball on the floor more and attack the basket, especially when Dwight Howard is out of the game, but he still played much better than he has as of late.

Game Notes:

  • Orlando had six players in double figures – Pietrus 18, Lewis 18, Redick 15, Nelson 15, Vince Carter 12, Howard 10.
  • The Magic were atrocious from the free throw line. Howard played a big part by missing nine free throws, but the Magic were 12-of-26 from the stripe as a team.
  • George Hill had nine assists and just one turnover for the Spurs.
  • Marcin Gortat’s seven rebounds led the Magic.
  • Each team grabbed 39 rebounds.
  • Jameer Nelson’s line of 15 points, six assists and five rebounds with just one turnover is excellent, but he looked frustrated throughout the game, even throwing the ball into the 10th row at the end of the first half.

Next Up: The Magic return home on Easter Sunday to play the only team they have not defeated the season – the Memphis

Final Thought: This loss shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Just like the Spurs were two weeks back, the Magic were on the road on the second night of a back-to-back.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks and Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).