Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Wednesday, December 15th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 22nd

Spurs 87

(20-6, 9-5 away)

Magic 93

(15-10, 9-2 home)

Coverage: KRRT

7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2004

Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

1 2 3 4 T
SA 19 21 24 2387
ORL 16 30 18 2993

Top Performers

San Antonio: T. Duncan 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Orlando: S. Francis 29 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Orlando snaps 7-game losing streak to Spurs

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic refused to let the San Antonio Spurs get away this time.

Steve Francis scored 29 points, seven in a late game-breaking run, and Orlando snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Spurs with a 93-87 win Wednesday night. The victory came a week after Orlando lost in San Antonio after fumbling away a 12-point lead.

"We had a chance to win down there but could not close," Orlando coach Johnny Davis said. "Tonight, we did a much better job of closing the game down."

That's been a problem for Orlando recently. The Magic had lost four of five games, and in three of those defeats they entered the fourth quarter leading or tied.

"Luckily, we have a team, coach, people who are not going to give up regardless if we have a lead and blow it," Francis said.

On Wednesday, Orlando trailed 73-72 midway through the fourth quarter before Hedo Turkoglu's 3-pointer put the Magic ahead to stay. The former Spur had 16 points.

With 5:58 remaining, San Antonio responded with a free throw from Tim Duncan. His 24 points led the Spurs, but he was silent after that in the face of Tony Battie's defense.

"Great individual defense on Duncan, which enabled us to stay at home with the other shooters they have," Davis said.

Duncan made 11 of 22 shots but missed four of six free throws, as San Antonio made a season-low 50 percent of its foul shots. The 13 free throws also were a season worst.

In the Spurs' last three games, they shot less than 55 percent (41-of-75) from the line.

"Free throws are a killer," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Free throws allow you to stay in a game, and they allow you to maintain leads and make runs. We had those opportunities, but we shot so poorly that it really made it tough for us."

Francis extended Orlando's lead to 81-76 by driving the lane and drawing a foul from Duncan for a three-point play. Francis made 13 of 17 free throws.

The Spurs followed with another basket, but Cuttino Mobley hit a 3-pointer from the left corner. Two minutes earlier, he sank a long jumper with Manu Ginobili in his face and the shot clock winding down, for a 78-74 lead.

Francis then made a pair of free throws and added a fast-break layin, extending the margin to 10.

To end the 18-5 run, Mobley dunked off Francis' lob to put the Magic ahead by 12 with less than two minutes remaining. Mobley finished with 11 points, and Francis had seven rebounds and six assists.

"Cuttino and Hedo did a good job of hitting big shots when we needed them, and Tony did a great job playing defense on Tim Duncan," Francis said. "That was the difference in the game."

San Antonio lost for the first time in five games.

"We're playing pretty well right now but we still have a lot of things to clean up," Duncan said.

Tony Parker had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ginobili added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The teams missed their first 10 shots, and the opening basket came on Grant Hill's fast-break layup at 8:50. San Antonio's 0-for-8 start was broken by Ginobili's 3-pointer more than four minutes in.

The Spurs' poor foul shooting sabotaged an opportunity to create some distance with an odd sequence midway through the second quarter. After Malik Rose was fouled on a layup try, Turkoglu was hit with a technical for arguing then received a delay of game warning after bouncing the ball toward official Courtney Kirkland.

Ginobili missed the technical free throw. When Francis dawdled lining up for Rose's free throw, that resulted in a technical for the delay. Beno Udrih missed that shot, before Rose sank one of two foul shots for a 29-24 lead.

Game notes

Orlando believes injured center Kelvin Cato will return to action next week. He's missed the last eight games after separating his right shoulder on Dec. 6. ... Magic center Andrew DeClercq, recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, probably won't be back until after the All-Star game. Earlier, the team estimated he'd be ready in January.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 93
FGM-FGA 35-89 (.393) 33-77 (.429)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 3-8 (.375)
FTM-FTA 13-26 (.500) 24-30 (.800)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-51 7-44
Assists 15 15
Turnovers 11 12
Steals 6 8
Blocks 6 9
Fast Break Points 19 27
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 19 (3/0)
Largest Lead 7 12

Top Performers

San Antonio
Tim Duncan Duncan
Points: 24
Reb: 8
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 2
Steve Francis Francis
Points: 29
Reb: 7
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 0