SAN ANTONIO – Jeremy Sochan had 29 points and 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs had a franchise-high 22 3-pointers and season-high 39 assists in a 132-114 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
“That’s kind of how we’ve got to play,” Spurs guard Devin Vassell said. “That’s really the Spurs way, moving the ball and getting a great shot. That’s what we did tonight.”
San Antonio center Zach Collins added 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. The Spurs are 6-27 in 2023, but have now won four of seven.
Orlando rookie Paolo Banchero had 27 points and Wendell Carter Jr. added 16 points. The Magic have lost five of their last seven games in their push for a berth in the postseason play-in tournament.
Orlando is now four games behind Washington for 10th in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s a definite tough loss,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “You really do have to tip your hat to San Antonio. They played their tails off and they brought it to us. This one stings. This one hurts because it’s one that we let get away from us. But you have to be able to move on to the next game and know what you can improve on and tighten up our defense.”
Sochan returned from a one-game absence, but the Spurs were without Keldon Johnson, Malaki Branham, Tre Jones, Rome Langford.
In a battle between two of the league’s top rookies, Sochan had the upper hand over Banchero, thanks to the best outside shooting performance in the franchise’s 50-year history.
“If you make 22 3s, you are going to have a pretty damn good night,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s just the way the rules are. We don’t do it very often, but we did it tonight. And it was fun to watch. More importantly, we had 39 assists, which is really fantastic. All in all, it was a good night for the boys.”
San Antonio made 57% of its shots from the field and going 22 for 41 from 3-point range.
“We were just late on a lot of our rotations,” Banchero said. “I think they did a great job moving the ball, not being stagnant. We were always just a step behind on the defensive end. They were making everything, especially from 3.”
Collins was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers as he continues his career rejuvenation after playing just 29 games the previous three seasons. Collins, who had two surgeries on his left foot following another surgery to repair a torn left labrum, sat out all of 2021.
San Antonio had 19 assists in the first half, which was eight off their average per game.
Sandro Mamukelashvili had consecutive alley-oop passes to Sochan. The first led to a one-handed dunk by Sochan that gave the Spurs a 62-54 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first half. They teamed up for another alley-oop dunk 36 seconds later.
Magic: Banchero was averaging 24 points in his previous five games. … Orlando’s last victory in San Antonio was 117-110 on Nov. 4, 2018. … F Franz Wagner made his 68th start this season after being listed as questionable with a sprained right ankle. Wagner had 11 points and two rebounds in 28 minutes.
Spurs: San Antonio’s previous high for 3-pointers was 18, set against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 26. … Johnson has missed two straight games with sore left foot.
San Antonio center Charles Bassey suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left patella in the first half. Additional tests will be conducted Wednesday.
“Poor guy. He was just learning how to play,” Popovich said.
Bassey remained on his back for about 45 seconds after blocking Jalen Suggs’ attempted layup to the close of the first quarter. Bassey appeared to land awkwardly, but rose on his own and went to the bench to close the quarter. Bassey returned to play 3:42 in the second quarter, but did not play in the second half.
Magic: At Phoenix on Thursday.
Spurs: Host Dallas on Wednesday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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