SAN ANTONIO – The Orlando Magic halted a long skid and their reward is the opportunity to visit the angry San Antonio Spurs on Monday.
Orlando ended an eight-game losing streak with a 119-114 victory over Boston on Sunday while the Spurs were outclassed 117-103 by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
San Antonio has dropped two of three games after winning 14 straight and the first of those defeats was a 120-90 beat down against the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs had only lost two games by double digits all season before falling to the Warriors and Cavaliers by an average of 22 points.
The Magic went 2-12 in January after a surprisingly good 19-13 start and lost by double digits five times during the month. Orlando has struggled against the Spurs in recent seasons, losing eight straight since last prevailing 123-101 on Dec. 23, 2010.
TV: 7:30 p.m. CT, FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (21-25): Orlando's offense was stellar in the win over Boston and put 72 second-half points on the board while halting its skid.
"We needed any win we could get," Magic coach Scott Skiles told reporters. "We've struggled so much recently that I'm just happy we battled through it. I would like to close it out better in the last minute in a more professional manner by knocking down free throws and not fouling shooters, but we'll take it."
Backup guard Evan Fournier had his best outing of the month with 24 points on 6-of-8 shooting - including 4-of-5 from 3-point range - and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line.
ABOUT THE SPURS (39-8): Center Tim Duncan will miss his fourth straight game and fifth in the past sixth with a right knee injury and San Antonio has been reluctant to release the severity. But coach Gregg Popovich had no issues with using Duncan's absence against Cleveland for the reason why his squad played so poorly.
"Everybody else knows how to operate based on where he is and what he does," Popovich told reporters. "That's my biggest concern with the game really is him not being there for everybody to move around because he's the center of what goes on defensively. Timmy’s not the most amazing athlete in the world, but he still protects the rim very, very well, and as I said, provides the center of the universe for us down there."
1. The Magic are 4-23 at San Antonio, including losses in each of the past six visits.
2. The Spurs lead the NBA in scoring defense at 91.2 but allowed an average of 112 over their past three games.
3. Orlando PF Aaron Gordon matched his career best of 19 points and collected a career-high 14 rebounds in Sunday's victory.