6:00 PM CT
San Antonio (12 - 3)
Orlando (5 - 8)
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- The young Orlando Magic acknowledge they still have much to learn. They also know they could get an important lesson from their next game.
The Magic will attempt to bounce back from the first loss on their season-high homestand Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, who will seek a season-high fifth straight win and eighth in a row on the road.
With a new coach, three returning contributors and four rookies, Orlando knows it might take a little while for things to jell. The Magic (5-8) showed some progress with back-to-back wins to open their five-game homestand and nearly earned another Sunday against Boston before falling 116-110 in overtime.
Orlando led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter but committed six of its 19 turnovers in the final period. The Magic have had at least 15 turnovers in each of their last seven contests.
"We did a good job of playing against their veteran team," said point guard Jameer Nelson, whose 20 points were one shy of matching J.J. Redick for the team lead. "We've got such a young team. There's a lot we can learn from this game."
The Magic now take on another veteran team, which is also one of the Western Conference's hottest. The Spurs (12-3) are 4-0 on their six-game road trip and blew out winless Washington 118-92 on Monday after being taken to double overtime by Toronto the previous day.
"(Tim Duncan) and (Tony Parker) lead the way, and the role players know what we would like them to do and they do it well," coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'll watch the film and try to find something to (complain) to them about, but it'll probably be unfair."
San Antonio is unbeaten on its road trip despite the absences of Stephen Jackson (broken finger) and Kawhi Leonard (knee tendinitis).
The Spurs might have to endure another absence, with the road trip concluding in Miami on Thursday. Popovich said Monday that he plans to give the 36-year-old Duncan some breaks, especially during back-to-back games.
Duncan played 41 minutes against the Raptors but 23 the next day.
"There'll be times this year when we'll sit him back-to-backs. Win or lose, he's not going to play the minutes he played (Sunday)," Popovich said.
Even if Duncan sits out Wednesday, the Spurs will still have a more experienced squad than Orlando's. Facing that competition is something that could benefit the Magic, Redick said.
"I think you can get confidence from playing against great teams," he said. "It's always a good measuring stick for us."
San Antonio has won four of the past five matchups and swept last season's two meetings, but it needed overtime to snap a three-game losing streak in Orlando. Parker had 25 points in that 85-83 victory Jan. 18, and 31 in a 122-111 win March 14. Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the home victory, and Nelson scored 25 in a losing effort.
The Orlando point guard has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games after averaging 9.8 points in his first four games back from a hamstring and groin injury that sidelined him for six.
I know you are supposed to focus on one game at a time but that seems difficult knowing that the second is against Miami. Lets see what discipline and planning the Spurs can produce for a W. Things could have been worse. The first game could have been against red hot Atlanta.
Spurs create a LEAD then our Big Three sit at the fourth Q!!!!!
Spurs TEAM Defense again wins.
I am calling Spurs a Blowout tonight.
Go Spurs Go!
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
I like such wins with Big Leads!!!
Just another W on the road for our looking better every day Spurs Team!!!
Awesome win! Spurs Team effort won again.
TURNING POINT: Orlando had a 14-10 lead when Tony Parker got fouled on a layup with 4:59 let in the first quarter. Parker's three-point play opened a 19-4 Spurs run and they led for the rest of the game. That was "it" though!
Game was over there!
Of course TD making that three before half time and the rest of the gam became history!
Manu took over and led the rest of the game!
Manu playing like this could result in a much more solid Spurs team down the road. And this is HUGE Boost to this team's confidence and more important chemistry. Thanks Manu!
Yes. Spurs win vs. a non winning/bad NBA Team. So what. A win is a win...
Of course the W feels 10x better when against a Winning team. However, I think Spurs need to look as Pop always directs them to the Bigger picture and the progress made with every win.
It is still early in the season, but every game I see the Spurs getting more comfortable playing with each other. And that thing called chemistry is becoming more than solid and very hard to break thing.
For a measuring stick though next two games will give us a sample or good test of Spurs and Pop Mixing it all up and shaking it, shaking it, to make a tasty Lemonade out of what appears as "Lemon" to some doubters.
A good test coming tomorrow night vs. Heat and Saturday vs. Grizzlies. But Spurs will approach one game at a time that is for sure.
Wow Spurs need to Bring a better win in Miami!
That should feel pretty interesting thing I am looking forward to see!
Go Spurs Go!!!!!
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
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