Orlando Magic Grades: San Antonio Spurs 114, Orlando Magic 113

Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon missed opportunities that led to a frustrating Orlando Magic loss. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon missed opportunities that led to a frustrating Orlando Magic loss. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic felt unfulfilled as they closed every run to give themselves a chance to win. But Evan Fournier’s layup fell no good, leaving only a loss.

38. 114. 29. Final. 113

The pain of defeat was written all over the faces of Orlando Magic players as the buzzer sounded, they walked off the floor and even as they met the media. This was a game they wanted to have, a game they should have had.

The Magic left one on the table and they know it. They sought blame in plenty of other places. There was their slow start to the game, the poor defense on 3-pointers. But everything always came back to that one shot.

Orlando lost a six-point lead in the closing moments but still had the fight to get back and give themselves a chance. When Bryn Forbes gave the San Antonio Spurs a three-point lead with 40 seconds left, the Orlando Magic were not going away.

They were going to fight through each last second.

Down by one with 11.6 seconds left, the Magic drew the Spurs into the corner and got a trap. They deflected the ball and Michael Carter-Williams pushed the ball down the court. He found Evan Fournier streaking downs the right side of the court with a shot at the basket. The Spurs’ defenders flew by him trying to slow him down and contest his layup.

Evan Fournier simply overcooked what would have been the game-winning layup. And the team was left picking up the pieces from a 114-113 loss to the Spurs at AT&T Center on Saturday.

It could certainly work its way back and find reasons for their defeat.

The Magic gave up an offensive rebound down one that led to the timeout that set up their near heroics. Terrence Ross dug in too deep to give Bryn Forbes the space for his go-ahead 3-pointer. They lost their fourth-quarter lead with some bad shot selection. They gave up 14-for-31 shooting on 3-pointers, going down by 16 on multiple occasions including right off the bat.

Orlando showed plenty of fight. The team certainly poured its heart into the game. The defense tightened up as the pressure grew. And the team always had a run to get back into the game. The Spurs could never quite take the Magic out of the game.

But they will look back at this as a lost opportunity. A poor start — back to back or rest disadvantage or not — that dug them a hole they struggled to get out of. A lead they had that slipped out of their fingers.

This one stung. And they rightfully pointed the fingers at themselves.

Evan Fournier was killing himself for missing the final shot. It was a layup and he offered no excuses for missing it. That was a shot he wanted and the team needed. This was an opportunity lost. And Fournier, never afraid to take big shots, took the miss harder than anyone.<p>Without a doubt though, the Magic do not get to that point without Fournier. He continued to pace the Magic offensive and hit several big shots that helped rescue the offense and propel them further throughout the game. He scored 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting, making 5 of his 10 3-pointers. He added four steals, showing his defensive opportunism.</p><p>Fournier really did not even force much of his offense. It was a lot of working off the work from other players. That made some of his late-game play disappointing. He missed a few rushed shots where the offense slowed down. That happens late anyway, but the Magic needed the ball movement that sparked their strongest play. And that missed shot still stings.</p>. G/F. Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER. B

B. The Orlando Magic were searching for energy throughout the game. The Orlando Magic’s defense was struggling to get stops and struggling to keep pace. When it did, the Magic had to take advantage. And whenever Orlando needs that jolt, it needs <a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS

NIKOLA VUCEVIC. C. <a href=. C. Orlando Magic

B+. Anytime someone returns from missing significant time, they need a few games to get back into the swing of things. <a href=. PG. Orlando Magic. D.J. AUGUSTIN

25-33. 10th West. SAN ANTONIO SPURS. B. The San Antonio Spurs had not played since Wednesday and it showed. They looked fresher and crisper in their movements. There was definitely a higher level of focus and intensity early on as they made shots. Veterans like <a href=

The Orlando Magic are now 27-33 and hold a one-half game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic have been eliminated from having the best record in the Eastern Conference. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 18 Orlando Magic wins or 18 Washington Wizards losses.

Next. Door is open for Orlando Magic to hold onto 7th. dark

The Orlando Magic return home Monday to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their next game.