San Antonio (20-5) at Orlando (14-10)

Fair Currently: Orlando, FL
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Dec 22, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Antonio Spurs are becoming adept at recovering from deficits. The Orlando Magic can attest to that.

Winners of four straight, the Spurs seek their second victory in a week against the Magic as the teams conclude their season series.

The Spurs rallied from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter last Wednesday to defeat the Magic 94-91. San Antonio battled back to win despite the loss of starting point guard Tony Parker, who sat out the fourth quarter with a groin injury.

The Spurs’ comeback ability was on display again Saturday, as San Antonio fell behind 27-16 in the first quarter but went on to beat Golden State 104-85.

Parker bounced back to play a crucial role in the win over the Warriors, scoring 21 points as the Spurs extended their winning streak to four.

San Antonio guard Brent Barry scored all seven of his points in eight minutes of the second quarter to help spark the rally.

Hailed as the answer to the Spurs’ shooting woes when he signed as a free agent in the offseason, Barry entered Saturday’s game shooting 38 percent from the field. He showed why San Antonio was eager to sign him, however, by hitting a 3-pointer on his first attempt and then driving the lane for a short jumper.

“I’m just trying to get out there and help out any way that I can,” Barry said. “To this point in the season I haven’t played like I wanted to, so it’s nice to have 82 games.”

Tim Duncan added 12 points for the Spurs. Duncan has led the Spurs or shared the lead in scoring and rebounding in 18 of his team’s 24 games, and led in rebounding in every game.

Orlando has lost four of its last five.

“We have to figure out a way to steal some games, just like teams have been doing to us,” said Magic forward Grant Hill, who had 20 points in a 117-107 loss to Miami on Sunday.

Orlando, eager to challenge Miami’s supremacy atop the Southeast Division, instead fell four games behind the Heat.

The Magic’s transition game fizzled at the end, and they managed just two baskets in the final 5:16.

“That’s one of the parts of the game where we have yet to grow,” coach Johnny Davis said. “Down the stretch, the maturity and experience of a team show.”

Steve Francis led Orlando with 31 points, many on acrobatic, slashing shots, drawing a foul on one twisting attempt with his back to the basket. Francis is shooting 56 percent (18-for-32) in his last two games.

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