ORLANDO, Fla. — It certainly didn’t help the Orlando Magic’s cause to be without Jameer Nelson in the only visit of the season by the San Antonio Spurs.
But it’s doubtful his presence would have made a huge difference in a game where the defending Western Conference champions shot 61 percent from the floor in the first half and cruised to a 109-91 victory.
The Magic, who will play their next six games away from home, started off hot despite the absence of Nelson, who missed the entire second half Wednesday night in a win over Philadelphia because of a sprained left foot — an injury he said began bothering him Tuesday night at Atlanta.
They made six of their first eight 3-point field goals, with one of those coming from the guard who started in Nelson’s place, E’Twaun Moore.
That didn’t faze the Spurs, who won for the first time after having their 11-game winning streak snapped.
The Spurs played without star point guard Tony Parker (mild right ankle sprain) for the first time all season. Although the Magic forced them into 19 turnovers, his absence ended up being not much of an issue.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 17 points despite being held without a 3-pointer for the third time in the past four games.
The turning point
Down only 41-40 in the second quarter after a 3-pointer by Ronnie Price, the Magic watched the Spurs reel off the next 17 points. Tim Duncan had a vintage bank shot and also an atypical dunk to finish a fast break off a lob pass from Marco Belinelli.
The difference maker
Duncan came into the game having made only 39.2 percent of his shots, but he looked quite spry for someone who will turn 38 in April. He had 17 points and seven rebounds by halftime.
Stat of the game
Nikola Vucevic missed his first five shots and didn’t break into the scoring column until hitting a jumper with one minute left in the first half. He finished with 12 points before being taken out with 9:33 remaining.
Monday night at Washington, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).