In a game that everyone at home, in the AT&T Center did not think they would see. Coming into the game, the Orlando Magic (19-57) as we all know were, terrible. You would think during the first three quarters that they were a team that was fighting for a number one spot in their conference. Even though that wasn’t the case, the San Antonio Spurs (56-19) did not look like a team that has been a top of their conference all year long.
Danny Green shot 7-for-10 from the floor and scored 20 points, and the San Antonio Spurs managed not to look past the Orlando Magic with a 98-84 victory over Orlando on Wednesday night.
It was hardly about tonight for the Spurs. Tim Duncan played only 13 ½ minutes, Tony Parker rested a sore ankle and Kawhi Leonard took the night off as San Antonio heads to Oklahoma City for a key Western Conference game with the Thunder on Thursday night. San Antonio is 1 ½ games ahead of OKC for the top seed in the West and has a 2-1 advantage in the season series.
This was a game for the bench to step in and show what they have. Step in Aron Baynes. Baynes really impressed me during the game.
He played 17 minutes and scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. By the way, Gary Neal loves to shoot the ball. Just wanted to clear that up incase you did not know. He came off the bench to score 16 on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor. He did hit 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
THE STAT: Even though the Spurs rested most of their key players, the Magic were clearly outmanned. Their bench shot 2-for-10 in the second half as Orlando was held to less than 20 points in both the third and the fourth quarters.
TURNING POINT: Orlando never led, but the Magic cut the Spurs lead to 74-70 with 10 ½ minutes left in the game and forced Nando De Colo (starting for Parker) into a turnover off a halfcourt trap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called timeout and San Antonio outscored Orlando 15-2 during the next 5 ½ minutes. Green hit a pair of 3-pointers and had two assists.
HOT: Green was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line, 3-for-4 in the second half. It’s his best showing from that distance since going 6-for-8 on March 27 at home against the Nuggets.
NOT: It looked like Stephen Jackson was breaking out of a 9-for-30 shooting slump over a seven-game stretch. He went 9-for-18 in his past two games against Miami and Memphis, but tonight he shot 1-for-9 (missing all four of his 3-point shots) until sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter because of what appeared to be an ankle injury. According to media sources, Head Coach Gregg Popovich stated that he will get an MRI Thursday morning and may not travel to Oklahoma City.
UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Thursday @ Oklahoma City, Saturday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Denver.
PG Nando De Colo | 8 points, 3-of-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 28 minutes
De Colo got his number called over what many thought would of been Cory Joseph to start for Tony Parker. De Colo made the most of his 28 minutes of play as he scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and 6 assists. De Colo did have some rough spots in the game. Though he had just two turnovers, there are still areas in his game that he needs to work on. Case in point. In the second half the Magic was heading for a double on De Colo, besides passing it out to a wide open Aron Baynes, he let the double team get to him and ended up turning the ball over, being one of his two turnovers.
SG Danny Green | 20 points, 7-of-10 shooting, 4-of-7 3 point, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 27 minutes
Out of his shooting slump? This was a game that I feel Danny Green really needed before the Spurs matchup against the Thunder on Thursday. Against the Magic, he had a game high 20 and was 4-of-7 from downtown (7-of-10 overall from the floor). It was a good feeling to see him get his confidence back. Oh the powers of the ball going into the room and what that can do for your soul.
SF Stephen Jackson | 2 points, 1-of-9 shooting, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 19 minutes
As I stated earlier it looked like Jackson was coming out of his shooting slump over the past seven games as he went 9-for-30. Against Miami and Memphis he went 9-for-18. But, against the Magic he was 1-of-9, missing all four of his attempts from downtown. He played just 19 minutes, possibly due to an ankle injury that he suffered in the first quarter.
PF Tim Duncan | 5 points, 2-of-5 shooting, 4 rebounds, 14 minutes
Duncan did not see the second half at all in this game. Not because he was injured. Popovich sat him down for preparation for the big game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. We all know that if he would of played the game he would of had “Duncan-Like” numbers.
GRADE: A+ (It’s Tim Duncan)
C Boris Diaw | 4 points, 2-of-7 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 24 minutes
I was scratching my head a long with others when I saw that Diaw was going to get the start of Tiago Splitter. Not sure what the reasoning was from Popovich. Diaw shot seven times and hit just two for four points. He did though grab 7 rebounds and had four assists on the night.
Gary Neal | 16 points, 6-of-14 shooting, 4-of-7 3point, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 31 minutes
What sticks out the most to me is the rebounds from Gary Neal. Eight rebounds! Neal did a great job on the boards tonight (second on the team). There are still times that I don’t get what is going through his head when he shoots the ball and then times when he should shoot he doesn’t. I know the guy likes to shoot the ball, he needs to know (I know he does) that the Spurs offense works miracles when the ball is moved around. Just cause he passes it out of his hands first does not mean he won’t see it again. It was good to see him hit some three’s in the game. Only way to get out of a slump is to shoot, shoot, shoot. Right?
Tiago Splitter | 10 points, 4-of-7 shooting, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 16 minutes
Splitter came off the bench and did a decent job. He was one rebound shy of a double-double. The Spurs did not go down to the post much during the game. I feel that Splitter and Baynes would of hand a field down down there. We were much bigger but we looked for the jump shot more than working inside.
Patty Mills | 7 points, 3-of-11 shooting, 1-of-6 3point, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 24 minutes
I was hoping that Mills would have a great shooting night against the Magic. Well as you can tell from his stat line he did not. Mills only hit one of his six three point attempts. They were not bad looks, they just would not go down for Patty. I still like his play and energy he brings to the game. Besides, he knows how to wave a towel!
Matt Bonner | 9 points, 4-of-8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 22 minutes
The Red Rocket scored 9 points, no three’s against the Magic. I don’t know what I could say here. When he is not hitting three’s there really isn’t much to talk about………….wait……he did have a “RED MAMBA SHAKE” down on the block for two. Yeah……that is about it.
Cory Joseph | 8 points, 4-of-4 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 12 minutes
“CoJo” showed us his best Tony Parker impression during the fourth quarter as he went into the lane and put up a few tear drops. I have said this before but I like Joseph’s game. I like how he controls the game and his overall play. He is a pass first point guard, in the NBA now there are a lot of points guards that are scorers first. I would of liked to see him in the starting lineup and getting more minutes as well.
Aron Baynes | 9 points, 4-of-6 shooting, 5 rebounds, 17 minutes
Everyone mean the “Great Wall of Baynes”. The kid is humungous. Baynes had a couple of dunks that made the crowd rise to their feet and show some sort of emotion. I agree, it was the Magic so it was hard to get any kind of emotion going. I liked his offensive skills. He had a nice hook shot and feel that he can contribute a lot to the team. I like the future for this kid.