Spurs hope to avoid buzzer-beater against visiting Orlando
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs have been burned by the buzzer in their last two games and aim to finish the job early Wednesday versus the Orlando Magic in the Alamo City.
The Spurs are still in the hunt for the Western Conference's top seed and dropped an 88-86 decision to Miami on Sunday, when Heat center Chris Bosh nailed a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds to go. Then in Monday's 92-90 loss at Memphis, Grizzlies guard Mike Conley scored the go-ahead layup with 0.6 seconds remaining in the game.
"I thought offensively we made a couple of mistakes at the very end of the game and Conley made a great shot. A lot of times in the NBA that is what does it, decisions down the stretch in the last couple of minutes," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Tony Parker missed on the other end and scored a game-high 25 points. Tiago Splitter had 13 and 11 rebounds, while Stephen Jackson netted 12 for San Antonio, which played without Tim Duncan because of a sore knee. Duncan and forward Kawhi Leonard (knee) are questionable Wednesday.
San Antonio, which has lost three of five games since winning four in a row, is one game ahead of Oklahoma City for the top seed in the conference and five games in front of the Grizzlies for the Northwest lead.
The Spurs are a solid 32-5 as the host this season and 10-2 against teams from the East at the AT&T Center. They are still in contention for the NBA's best record.
Orlando is embroiled in an eight-game road losing streak and fell to 0-2 on a five-game junket with Monday's 111-103 setback at Houston.
Maurice Harkless poured in a game-high 28 points and Beno Udrih added 17 points and 10 assists for the Magic, who got double-doubles from both Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. Harris finished with 18 points and 11 boards and Vucevic collected 12 with 13 rebounds as the Magic lost for the 10th time in the past 11 tries.
"These guys don't quit. No one on this team quits. We've been in a lot of games this year but we always fight back. I love playing with these guys," Harkless said.
Magic guard Jameer Nelson missed his second-straight game with a sprained right ankle and is doubtful against the Spurs. Forward Hedo Turkoglu is eligible to return Wednesday following a 20-game suspension for testing positive for an anabolic steroid (methenolone).
"While I was back home in Turkey this past summer, I was given a medication by my trainer to help recover more quickly from a shoulder injury," Turkoglu said in a press release at the time of the penalty. "I didn't know that this was a banned substance and didn't check before taking it.
"I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body. This was a complete error in judgment on my part and I apologize to the Orlando Magic organization, the league, my teammates, and the Magic fans. I know I have let down a lot of people and I am truly sorry for my mistake."
Over 11 games this season, the 13-year pro is averaging just 2.9 points, 2.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Orlando, which will also visit Chicago and Cleveland on the trip, suffered a 110-89 home loss to the Spurs on Nov, 28 this season and has dropped three straight, five of six and 16 of the last 23 meetings between the teams.
The Magic are only 3-17 in their last 20 games in the Alamo City.
04/03 10:11:54 ET