Basketball has two fundamental missions: put the ball in the basket and keep the other team from doing the same. On Wednesday night at the Amway Center, the San Antonio Spurs accomplished the mission at both ends of the court far more often as they throttled the Orlando Magic 129-90.
Evan Fournier hit a three-pointer just 37 seconds into the game to give the Magic their only lead of the game. After that, they were buried under a barrage of shots raining in from all over the court.
The Spurs shot 65 percent from the floor, including 63 percent on three-point attempts. On the other end, the Magic shot only 38 percent in absorbing their worst loss of the season.
The hot-shooting Spurs sprinted to a 66-44 halftime lead and continued building the margin until the final horn. The 39-point margin of defeat was only one point short of the record for a home loss.
The Spurs avenged a 117-110 loss to the Magic on November 4 in San Antonio.
Orlando played the game without their starting center, Nikola Vucevic, who was with his wife following the birth of his son, Filip, on Monday. While Vucevic’s presence likely would not have changed the result, the game would have been more competitive.
“They played great and we were terrible,” said Magic Coach Steve Clifford in his postgame comments.
NBA teams rarely shoot as well as the Spurs did on Wednesday. Poor defense is usually just as important as good shooting and Clifford believes the latter had a lot to do with the marksmanship displayed by San Antonio.
“It shows a lack of readiness to play is what it shows and at the end of the day I’m in charge of that …There were actually no warning signs we would play like this, I actually thought we would play well tonight.”
D.J. Augustin led the Magic with 17 points while Fournier and Aaron Gordon chipped in with 12. LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Spurs with 20 points.
With the loss, the Magic fell to 14-16 on the season. They head to Chicago on Friday to face the Bulls.