Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/28/12
ORLANDO -- The San Antonio Spurs make it look so easy. The Spurs won their fifth consecutive game -- all on the road against Eastern Conference teams -- by breezing past the Orlando Magic 110-89 Wednesday night. The veteran-laden Spurs, who will finish the road trip Thursday in Miami, have the most wins in the league, despite one of the most challenging early schedules. San Antonio (13-3) led by 11 points after the first quarter, by 14 at halftime and by 17 points after three periods, allowing their stars to watch most of the fourth quarter from the sideline. Sixth man Manu Ginobili led the charge with 20 points, including 12 in a four-minute burst in the first quarter when the Spurs (13-3) took control. Gary Neal scored 19 points for San Antonio, and Tim Duncan had 15. Tony Parker added 14 points and eight assists. "We're just playing good ball, whoever they put in front of us," Duncan said. "We show up to play the game we've been playing. We're executing well." The Magic (5-9) got 16 points from Arron Afflalo and 14 points from Jameer Nelson. Orlando shot poorly, especially from the 3-point arc, where it hit only two of 15 shots. The Spurs hit 44 of 84 shots overall (52.4 percent). "(San Antonio) is an impressive ballclub," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "They come out with one mission, and that was to get a win." Although the Magic scored four of the first five baskets in the second half, their run ended quickly. Neal, a third-year guard from Towson State, hit four field goals in the first six minutes of the second half, keeping the Spurs in command. He had 15 of his points in the second half, allowing the stars to start thinking about Thursday's game against the defending champs in Miami. "It's early, we'll lose our share, but right now we're playing pretty well, I guess," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We're a very experienced team, so everybody knows their role." The fourth quarter opened with back-to-back 3-point baskets from Danny Green and Ginobili, propelling the Spurs to a 23-point lead. They led by as many as 25 points midway through the final period. San Antonio's offense has been outstanding throughout this road trip, averaging 110 points. The Spurs beat the Boston Celtics by 12, the Indiana Pacers by seven and the Washington Wizards by 26 on Monday night. "This has been a great road trip," Ginobili said. "It's a young season. We've got a long way to go, but I am impressed right now." Ginobili made six of his nine 3-point attempts Wednesday. The Spurs made 11 of 25. The Spurs led 55-41 at intermission, sparked by that early 3-point flurry from Ginobili. Duncan led everyone with 13 first-half points. Ginobili hit four 3-point baskets in the last four minutes of the first quarter, keying a 19-4 run that erased an early Magic lead. The Spurs led 29-18 after the first period. Duncan hit a 3-pointer, just his second of the season, just as the horn sounded before halftime. Parker and Ginobili each had 12 points by intermission. NOTES: The Magic have not hidden the fact they are trying to use this rebuilding period to remodel themselves after the Spurs. General manager Rob Hennigan, Vaughn and three others in the basketball operations department all have worked for the Spurs. All arrived since last season ended. "I'm proud that I was part of the San Antonio system," Vaughn said before Wednesday's game, "but you take those experiences and create your own model.". ... Popovich, the architect of the San Antonio system, said he knew years ago that Vaughn would become an NBA head coach. Vaughn played for and coached under Popovich. He also is the youngest coach today in the NBA at 36. "It was pretty obvious he had that intuitive feel for the game," Popovich said. "He knows what he's doing, and he's doing it well." ... Despite having the most wins in the NBA, the Spurs may have had the toughest November schedule. They had a four-game road trip early, and they will finish a six-game trip Thursday night in Miami. "We are getting tired," Popovich said before Wednesday's game.
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