The Magic's hot shooting had to run out at some point.
After making shots seemingly at will in the first three games of this five-game homestand, the Magic were going to regress to their mean at some point. To come crashing down like they did Wednesday might not have been quite what the Magic expected.
To lose all focus on the defensive end and allow an opponent to run pick and rolls and offense with impunity? Some of that might have to do with the opponent. Some of it certainly does not.
The Spurs were deathly efficient as they typically are on the offensive end. Tony Parker had his way getting into the paint on pick and rolls, Manu Ginobili was draining 3-pointers at will and Gary Neal soon followed him in the second half and the Magic could not do enough to chip away at the lead. Every Orlando run after giving up the lead on a 13-0 run to San Antonio in the first quarter was met with a big play from San Antonio and a scoring drought.
This might very well have been a case of one team being better and more experienced than the other. The Magic did not help themselves though with lax defense and poor rotations. The Spurs raced out to the lead and were never really threatened in a 110-89 win at Amway Center on Wednesday.
As has been the case in most of the Magic's losses, defense was the initial problem caused by an offense that was struggling to generate shots.
The Magic shot only 43.2 percent from the floor but only 2 for 15 from beyond the arc. The Magic committed 17 turnovers and struggled to get anything consistent going. Yes, there were 18 offensive rebounds and 50 points in the paint, encouraging signs for sure, but Orlando struggled to get to the free throw line again and the turnovers and missed shots often turned into San Antonio fast breaks.
The Spurs had a season high 25 fast break points and were quick to get out on the break. The Magic were slow with their defensive rotations and it showed as they scrambled to cover the fast breaks and get back out to the 3-point line.
While Orlando struggled to hit its 3-pointers, San Antonio made 11 of its 25 attempts. Ginobili hit four in the first quarter on his way to 20 points. Gary Neal seemed to take over in the third quarter after a quick Magic run made it seem like this might turn into a game. he did that by getting out on the break and this patient team just picked apart the Magic.
Tony Parker had 14 points and eight assists without committing a turnover, signalling the blazing efficiency and patience the Spurs had throughout the night.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 16 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Jameer Nelson also had 14 points, but only three assists. Glen Davis scored 12 points on 6-for-16 shooting.
Orlando just did not have the horses to keep up and get back. Shots were not falling and the team seemed out of sorts, settling for mid-range jumpers and struggling to get into the paint. The Magic were most successful when players were moving off the ball and when they were able to get into the paint. That was not the case for the majority of the night, particularly when they fell behind.
Credit San Antonio's defense though, the team did a good job protecting the paint. Orlando crashed the paint too, San Antonio made its shots.