Magic-Spurs Preview

February 1, 2016

The San Antonio Spurs have lost two of their last three games without Tim Duncan. They should like their chances at evening that out Monday night.

With Duncan ruled out, the Spurs attempt to extend their franchise-record home winning streak and make it nine consecutive victories over the Orlando Magic.

San Antonio (39-8) has built an 11 1/2-game lead on second-place Memphis in the Southwest Division, so losing two of three isn't putting its status as the leader in jeopardy. The stretch, however, does raise questions about the Spurs' playoff future with road losses against Golden State and Cleveland - potential opponents in the Western Conference and NBA Finals.

It's also come without Duncan, who has missed four of the last five games with a sore right knee. The 39-year-old center averages 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds but is a presence defensively for the Spurs, who yield a league-low 91.2 points per game.


San Antonio's two worst defensive efforts of the season have come without Duncan, surrendering 120 points to the Warriors last Monday and falling 117-103 to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

"It's one of those games where our defense just wasn't there," guard Tony Parker said Saturday. "We made too many mistakes and against a good team you can't do that."

That hasn't been an issue at home, nor has anything else. The Spurs have won all 25 games there as part of a 34-game streak that dates to last season.

San Antonio seems poised to add another victory since it's won eight straight overall against Orlando and six in a row at home, dating to a loss on Jan. 11, 2009.

The Spurs won 110-103 over the Magic in the most recent home matchup Feb. 4. Duncan led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard scored 18 and added five boards, five assists and four steals.

Leonard is looking to build on his 24 points from Saturday, but he averages just 11.5 in six meetings with Orlando.

Tony Parker has averaged 27.2 points over his last six home matchups.

The Magic went 2-12 in January but ended the month by erasing a 14-point deficit en route to a 119-114 win over Boston on Sunday, salvaging a split of the home-and-home set. They haven't won consecutive games since Dec. 28 and 30.

"When you scramble and hustle and play hard, usually good things happen," coach Scott Skiles said. "We've struggled so much recently that I'm just happy for the guys to battle and get one coming from behind."

Orlando is averaging 89.9 points while losing seven of its last eight on the road.

Winning in San Antonio likely will require a big effort from Nikola Vucevic, who is averaging 20.0 points and 12.3 rebounds over the past three meetings with the Spurs. Vucevic, however, enters this matchup with an average of 14.6 points on 39.6 percent shooting over the last seven games.

Evan Fournier scored 24 points in Sunday's win after he was limited to 11.5 on 36.8 percent from the field over the previous six contests.

Victor Oladipo had 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a 103-91 loss to the Spurs on April 1. However, he's shot 30.6 percent and averaged 11.3 points over the last four.