San Antonio Spurs pull out late victory over Orlando Magic with balanced effort

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 06: Trey Lyles #41 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts in the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Moda Center on February 06, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 06: Trey Lyles #41 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts in the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Moda Center on February 06, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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It came down to the wire, but the San Antonio Spurs held on to defeat the Orlando Magic 114-113 in a big defining night for Trey Lyles.

Entering a matchup against a defensive-minded Orlando Magic team without the help of LaMarcus Aldridge suggested it’d be a long game for the Spurs. It didn’t help that their replacement starter, center Jakob Pöltl exited the game in the first quarter and did not return due to a knee contusion.

And yet the San Antonio Spurs managed to hold on in the final minutes for a 114-113 victory on their home court. San Antonio shot the ball well, hitting 52.4 percent of their shots and 45.2 percent from three-point land. Despite being outmatched on the glass (31-41), the Spurs put together a solid gameplan to make up for it.

Tonight marked a defining moment for power forward Trey Lyles, who logged a career-high 40 minutes and thrives with his opportunity. The first-year Spur finished with 20 points, including 12 in the first quarter, to go with nine boards, four steals, two assists and a block. Playing extra minutes in place of the injured Poeltl, Lyles asserted himself on both ends of the floor.

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Starting point guard Dejounte Murray continued a recent hot streak tonight by posting an all-around line of 15 points on 70 percent shooting, seven assists, three steals, two dimes and a block. With increased usage and quite a bit of work, Dejounte is fulfilling the potential he always flashed throughout his career.

Wing DeMar DeRozan had 16 points on 13 shots to go with nine assists and three boards. It wasn’t his greatest all-around effort, but he fought hard despite only getting three foul calls when a handful more should’ve gone his way. DeRozan has cooled off from his hot streak from earlier in the year, but he remains an effective and helpful presence for this team.

Surprisingly, forward Rudy Gay came off the bench for 30 minutes of consistent, stable play. He hit his first six shots for 16 points and finished with 19, six boards, four assists and two blocks. Gay has been significantly less productive compared to who he was last season, but if he can get back to this level of play, he’s going to be crucial down the stretch of the season.

Next. Which Spurs are most valuable to the team’s culture?

San Antonio will get one day of rest before a back-to-back set on Monday and Friday.

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