Fri, Nov 29
Amway Center - Orlando, Florida
By JUSTIN EINHORN, Associated Press
One of their worst offensive performances of the season prevented the San Antonio Spurs from notching their longest win streak in three years. Now they'll try to bounce back against a team that may be coming alive offensively.
The Spurs follow their first loss in three weeks with a road game against an Orlando Magic team seeking a third straight victory Friday night.
San Antonio (13-2) has recorded 11-game winning streaks in three consecutive seasons and was trying to win 12 straight for the first time since November 2010 going into Wednesday's visit to Oklahoma City. The Spurs, though, were held below 90 points for the second time and shot a season-worst 39.1 percent from the field in a 94-88 defeat.
Coach Gregg Popovich was irked by his team going 7 of 27 from 3-point range, settling for those shots instead of attacking the basket more.
"I thought a pretty good percentage of ours tonight were hurried or frenetic at times," he said. "I didn't like our selection."
The Spurs, who had beaten their previous eight opponents by an average of 19.1 points, suffered their only other loss Nov. 2 to a Portland team which is their closest pursuer for the Western Conference lead.
The Magic (6-9) do have a win over one of the West's top teams, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 98-90 on Nov. 6. They followed that victory by losing seven of eight, though they came back with wins on consecutive nights this week.
After posting its highest point total in three weeks with a 109-92 win in Atlanta, Orlando defeated Philadelphia 105-94 on Wednesday. The Magic shot better than 50 percent from the field in both games, posting back-to-back victories for the first time since winning three straight Nov. 1-6.
"We made improvements, but we've still got a ways to go," said Nikola Vucevic, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds. "We can't have streaks when we lose four or five games in a row. It's hard to make up for those. So we gotta try to be more consistent. We can't win every game ... but we gotta try to play the way we played the last two games."
Vucevic has posted three straight double-doubles, averaging 17.7 points and 13.7 boards while shooting 66.7 percent. Glen Davis had 19 points in his fourth game after being sidelined with a broken bone in his foot, and rookie Victor Oladipo scored 18 on 7-of-11 shooting for the second straight night.
They could be hard-pressed to stay hot against a San Antonio team allowing 90.3 points per game, second-best in the league. The only Spurs opponent to reach 100 points was the Trail Blazers.
Orlando failed to score 90 in two meetings last season, losing both by double digits, and has lost four straight in the series.
Tony Parker has averaged 23.5 points in his last six matchups with the Magic. He led San Antonio with 16 points Wednesday but was 6 for 16 from the field, easily his worst shooting performance since going 7 for 20 at Portland.