Spurs 98, Magic 74
Ginobili made six 3-pointers and finished with 31 points to help San Antonio beat Orlando 98-74 Friday night.
Ginobili had 16 points and five 3s in the third quarter for the Spurs, who extended their season-high winning streak to seven. Tim Duncan added 19 points and 10 rebounds and Michael Finley scored 12 points.
At their last meeting in February, the Spurs were stunned by Dwight Howard, who caught an inbounds alley-oop pass from Turkoglu and jammed it with less than a second to play to give the Magic a 106-104 victory.
“We’re happy to get a win against these guys, after a really tough loss a couple of weeks ago,” Ginobili said. “(Coach Gregg Popovich) said we couldn’t allow them to do it again. We remembered that in Orlando we were winning by 16 or 18, something like that, and they came back. Because they have talent.”
Duncan scored six straight points in the second quarter, and his dunk with 1:19 left give the Spurs a 43-31 lead.
“When an elite team loses to somebody, they look to pay you back,” Magic coach Brian Hill said. “We knew it was going to be a hard game coming in.”
Howard, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds, said the Spurs were probably looking for a little revenge over last month’s loss, and now he’ll have reason to seek some of his own.
“I didn’t play well tonight, but my team did,” he said. “It’s embarrassing to lose by this many points but next time we play these guys, it’s going to be in the back of my mind. Every time we play these guys.”
Ginobili and Nelson dueled throughout the third quarter. Ginobili scored 10 straight for San Antonio, including three 3-pointers. He followed with two more 3s late in the quarter, including one at the buzzer to make it 65-57 Spurs.
“Those kind of shots are sometimes easier because you have no pressure,” Ginobili said of his buzzer-beating 3. “You know you have to shoot it. Nobody is going to say anything; nobody is going to get upset with you with 1 second to go.”
Nelson had 10 points in the period for Orlando, plus an unlikely offensive rebound.
Ginobili kept up his pace early in the fourth, scoring nine more points in under 3 minutes before he was subbed out.
“We had an eight-point game at the end of three quarters that went to 20 in the first three minutes of the fourth,” Hill said. “There’s nothing we could do after that.”
The Spurs now take off on a four-game road trip. Their first stop is Houston on Saturday. … The Magic visit the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday to close out their four-game trip. … Grant Hill (left foot) and Tony Battie (right thumb) didn’t play for the Magic.