SAN ANTONIO – A furious fourth-quarter rally was not enough to keep the San Antonio Spurs’ winning streak alive as they fell 117-110 to the Orlando Magic (3-6) at the AT&T Center on Sunday night.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Spurs, who had just beaten the New Orleans Pelicans less than 24 hours ago.
“We didn’t play very well but we kept plugging away,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “We gave it a run and that’s good. Our guys have good character but the worst part of the night was our defense. It was poor.”
- The Spurs showed heart as they fought their way back from a 26-point deficit. Patty Mills, Forbes, and Pau Gasol combined for 41 points on the night and were key parts of the comeback attempt.
- Pop inserted Jakob Poeltl in the second quarter and he made the most of his minutes. He finished the game with five rebounds, including four on the offensive end in 14 minutes.
- San Antonio’s defense was poor overall. The back to back may have played a part but giving up 117 points and leaving players open on different occasions is not an ideal way to win.
- On the flip side, the Spurs struggled offensively. San Antonio could not get anything going as they shot just 37 percent in the third quarter.
- Aaron Gordon led Orlando with 26 points, including going 4-for-10 from three-point range. He was left open for corner and top of the key shots from beyond the arc. A big mistake from the Spurs on defense.
Three Standout Players:
After putting up 26 points on the Pelicans less than 24 hours earlier, DeRozan was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday night and it nearly got the Spurs a comeback win.
DeRozan finished with 25 points, with 19 of them coming in the first half. With the Spurs struggling on both ends of the court, the guard weaved his way to the bucket, including a rim-rocking slam dunk.
He continues to show his comfort level within Pop’s system and with 73 games left to play, he will only get better from here.
The veteran big man played a key part in the Spurs’ rally in the second half.
He scored 12 points off the bench and his only three-pointer of the night was a big one to get the Spurs within single digits. He had a key block in the paint and rebounded well against the younger Gordon.
Since moving to the bench, Gasol has contributed better, much like Tony Parker did a season ago.
The former Michigan State Spartan had a big second half and made shots when it mattered most, including some big three’s.
Forbes finished with 13 points, including going 2-for-5 from three. He along with Mills and Gasol all combined for 41 points as the Spurs outscored Orlando 36-26 in the fourth quarter.
But now the attention has to be on defense and Pop agrees.
“Games are different all the time,” he said. “You can’t compare the defense from one night to the next. You know one night it was good or bad. And tonight it was poor.”
The Spurs are now 6-3 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday night when they take on the Miami Heat (3-5) at 6:30 pm Central Time from the AmericanAirlines Arena.