Spurs frustrate Magic with timely defense in 102-89 victory

Nov 5, 2021, 6:30 AM | Updated: 7:28 pm

San Antonio Spurs forward Drew Eubanks dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

(AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — In addition to Dejounte Murray shooting the 3-pointer better and scoring at a career-best clip, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his point guard has shown marked improvement in his leadership abilities and knowing when to take games over.

Murray did both Friday night in the fourth quarter by taking over a close game in the Spurs’ 102-89 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Murray finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals — six of those points, three assists and all of the steals coming in the final period. After Orlando cut it to 87-80, Murray answered with two baskets.

“Especially down the stretch when they cut it to seven, (Murray) kept his composure,” Popovich said. “That’s what it takes in the fourth quarter — solid, solid possessions to give us a chance to score.”

Keldon Johnson added 20 points and nine rebounds to help San Antonio improve to 3-6. Derrick White, Devin Vassell and Thaddeus Young each scored 12 points. Young, who added five assists, marvels at the growth that Murray has made.

“Dejounte has done a phenomenal job running this team,” Young said. “He’s taking that big step and his game has evolved. He’s making threes, the midrange shot, he’s getting to the basket at will and he’s as tough as they come. On the defensive side he creates havoc. That’s huge having our point guard clicking on all cylinders.”

Murray’s defense played a big role in Orlando turning the ball over 18 times — nine of those miscues coming in the final quarter.

Cole Anthony had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Orlando. Anthony, who scored 13 fourth-quarter points, said Magic miscues cost his team a chance of pulling off a come-from-behind win.

“I had five (turnovers) and Jalen (Suggs) had five, so we’ve got to be better there,” Anthony said. “I’ve got to play better. I took too many bad shots and played selfishly. Just got to play better.”

Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando, which fell to 0-4 at home.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Johnson scored seven early points before rolling his right ankle and leaving the floor. He returned to the game in the second quarter. … Jakob Poeltl missed his second straight game because of NBA Health and Safety protocols.

Magic: Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis attended the game and sat courtside. … Gary Harris, who missed five of Orlando’s first nine games with hamstring and ankle injuries, returned and had three points. … Suggs continues to struggle from 3-point range. He missed five of six tries.

UP NEXT

Spurs: At Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

Magic: Host Utah on Sunday night.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) celebrates a touchdown by wide receiver Van Jeffer...
Associated Press

Baker cooks: Newcomer Mayfield rallies Rams past Vegas 17-16

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds to play to cap a 98-yard drive, and the Rams’ brand-new quarterback led two TD drives late in the fourth quarter to propel Los Angeles to a shocking 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night. […]
21 hours ago
San Antonio Spurs' Tre Jones (33) goes to the basket against Houston Rockets' Usman Garuba (16) and...
Associated Press

Johnson’s hot start helps Spurs beat Rockets, end skid at 11

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Keldon Johnson scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs snapped an 11-game losing streak by beating the Houston Rockets 118-109 on Thursday night. Johnson sparked the turnaround by making his first nine shots and his first three 3-pointers in helping San Antonio win for the first time since Nov. 11, […]
21 hours ago
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul G...
Associated Press

Adebayo, Butler lift Heat past Kawhi-less Clippers 115-110

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo knows the Miami Heat have some work to do to climb up the standings. Thursday was, he hopes, a good start. Adebayo had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 26 points and the Heat held off the Los Angeles Clippers 115-110. “If we worry about ourselves, I feel […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Mikonowicz, Toledo women upend No. 14 Michigan 71-68

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Sammi Mikonowicz made a layup with 13.6 seconds left and then added two free throws at 3.1 seconds as Toledo beat No. 14 Michigan 71-68 on Thursday night for its first win over a ranked team in 12 years and first on the road since March of 1996. The Rockets […]
21 hours ago
A photograph taken using a drone shows Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium after owners the Gl...
Associated Press

Man United owners not taking semi-annual dividend

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United’s owners have not taken their semi-annual dividend for fiscal year 2023, according to the Premier League club’s quarterly financial reports. The decision preceded the Glazer family’s recent announcement that it would consider putting the club up for sale. Dividends amounting to $44 million were paid to the Glazers and […]
21 hours ago
Newly acquired Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner laughs during his introductory news conf...
Associated Press

Trea Turner, Phillies finalize 11-year, $300M contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper lobbed Philadelphia’s first recruiting pitch over the summer when the injured All-Star used a guest stint in the broadcast booth to advocate for the future free agent and his former Washington teammate. “Trea Turner, he’s my favorite player in the league,” Harper said. “Not even close.” Harper and Turner have […]
21 hours ago
Spurs frustrate Magic with timely defense in 102-89 victory