The San Antonio Spurs were able to defeat the Orlando Magic in overtime by the score of 85-83. For the Spurs, it was their first road win of the regular season. For the Magic, it was their one and only back-to-back-to-back of the season and they were unable to sweep all three games. The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder remain the only teams in the NBA to accomplish the feat. With Orlando playing on a third night in a row and San Antonio playing on a back-to-back themselves, the quality of play was not very high, as both teams struggled at times to really get things going offensively. But in the end, the Spurs were able to escape with a victory after J.J. Redick’s game-winning three came after the buzzer, as he took an extra dribble to escape a defender trying to contest him at the three-point line after receiving the basketball. Ryan Anderson’s initial three-point attempt on the right wing clanked off the rim, but Dwight Howard got the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Redick. Unfortunately for Redick, his decision not to catch-and-shoot with the ball proved costly, as the clock ran out on him. San Antonio was led by Tony Parker, as he finished with a game-high 25 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Tim Duncan chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Magic were led by a balanced attack, as four players scored in double-figures. Howard put up 24 points, 25 rebounds, and three blocks. Ryan Anderson finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Von Wafer had 15 points coming off the bench, while Redick had 13 points. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Orlando.
This game was dreadful to watch on both sides, but things got interesting in the late stages of the fourth quarter.
Parker couldn’t miss in the period against the Magic, nailing a jumper off the dribble that gave the Spurs a 73-69 lead with 2:44 remaining in regulation. At that point, Parker was 7-of-7 shooting from the field and carrying San Antonio to the finish line. But Orlando was able to respond with a four-point flurry, as Redick made two free-throws and a layup to tie the game with 36 seconds left.
After a righty hook from Duncan in the paint allowed the Spurs to regain the lead at 75-73, Redick responded yet again by drawing a foul on Danny Green as he went up for a layup attempt off the dribble along the left baseline. Redick made both free-throw, which tied the game again and after Parker airballed a fallaway jumper with Howard contesting the shot, it seemed like the Magic had a chance to win the game in the waning seconds. It’s curious, then, that when Anderson secured the rebound and timeout was called, the referees didn’t decide to look at a replay to make sure the game clock was correct (it was 0.3 seconds). Even if there was approximately one second left, the likelihood of a player for Orlando hitting a shot is still low but it would have allowed for a better opportunity. At a critical stage in the game, for the officials to not even take the time to make sure everything was in order seemed like a puzzling decision.
Instead, Wafer hoisted up a jumper after time expired.
In overtime, after Gary Neal made a three-point shot on the right wing off a screen-and-curl to give the Spurs an 84-81 lead, with 28 seconds left, it seemed like the Magic were running out of chances to win the game. Yet Wafer was able to make a layup off the dribble and get fouled in the process, thus giving Orlando a chance to tie the game. Unfortunately for Wafer, he missed the free-throw and the Magic were forced to foul thereafter. Richard Jefferson made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, which gave Orlando a chance to tie or win the game with the score at 85-83 and 14.4 seconds left.
On the Magic’s final possession and with time winding down, Anderson shot a three-pointer on the right wing but missed. However, Howard was able to corral the offensive rebound and kick it out to Redick. But with a defender for San Antonio running desperately to contest his shot, Redick made a poor decision and took too much time with an extra dribble before shooting. Ironically enough, after Redick dribbled the basketball, he made a three-point shot. Had there been enough time on the game clock, Redick would have won the game for Orlando. Instead, the shot didn’t count.
Without Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, the Magic put up a valiant effort but they couldn’t squeeze out one more play.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.