for this game

Spurs win battle of titans, down Magic

Nov 22, 2007 - 7:25 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- As the defending NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs are no stranger to taking an opponent's best shot and coming out unscathed.

Tony Parker scored a season-high 32 points and Tim Duncan added 20 and 16 rebounds to power the Spurs to a 128-110 comeback victory over the Orlando Magic.

Orlando, which entered the contest as the NBA's lone undefeated team on the road, seemed destined to give San Antonio, which is one of the league's five unbeaten home teams, all it could handle.

"This was a fine, fine win against a really good team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "This was probably our best win of the year, without a doubt."

The Magic won their first seven games away from home by an average of 10.3 points.

They lived up to their reputation as road warriors after one half as Magic center Dwight Howard dominated on both ends with 19 points and 12 boards to help Orlando take a 64-59 lead at intermission. Howard finished with 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field and 16 rebounds.

Orlando swingman Rashard Lewis hit a 3-pointer in the Magic's first possession of the second half to take their biggest lead at 67-59, but the combination of Parker and Duncan scored the last 13 over a nine-minute 25-14 stretch that put the Spurs in the lead for good at 84-81.

"This is not the kind of game we want to be in," Duncan said. "They shot a really high percentage the whole game. But I think in the second half, we finally got some stops and really got on a roll."

Howard didn't take any comfort knowing it took the defending champs to give them their first road loss.

"We want to win as many games as we can," Howard said. "Losing to a great team is still a loss."

San Antonio built on its 93-90 advantage after three quarters in part by holding the high-scoring Magic scoreless over a 4:15 stretch during the middle of the final quarter.

As a result, the Spurs turned a 99-95 advantage into a 12-point bulge at 107-95, capped off by 3-pointers by Michael Finley and Brent Barry.

"Every time you make a mistake, they make you pay," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "All of the mistakes we made, they converted on. That's the difference right now between us and them, they're a level above us. There's no question about that, and we've got a long, long way to go."

Van Gundy added that he thought his team played well enough to make the game closer than it was.

"If we're going to shoot 56 percent and score 110 points, you should be in the game at the end, not blown out," Van Gundy said.

Duncan and Parker would account for 10 of the next 21 points that increased the bulge to 128-105, capped off by the last of Barry's five 3-pointers in the contest.

Manu Ginobili scored 27 points and Barry added a season-high 19 for the Spurs, who shot 13-of-24 from the arc. The Spurs also finished with a franchise-low three turnovers, while Orlando committed 13.

Hedo Turkoglu poured in a season-high 26 for the Magic, who lost despite shooting 56 percent (42-for-75) from the field.

"In the first half, they were on fire," Parker said. "Then, in the second (half), we made two or three stops in a row, got some momentum, got a little lead, and never really relinquished it."

"You can't win basketball games with just shooting percentages," said Magic guard Jameer Nelson, who finished with 15 points and nine assists. "They capitalized on our mistakes on defense and they turned it into points."

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