The Orlando Magic went with a lineup change in an effort to shake things up on Sunday but still suffered their fourth straight loss and had trouble scoring. The Magic will not catch a break on Tuesday, when they hit the road and visit the red-hot San Antonio Spurs.
“This is why I’m not a knee-jerk coach. ... Because every time you make changes guys are out there with different teammates and the chemistry gets altered a bit,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “Sometimes you make a change to plug one hole and you create another hole.” Orlando moved Bismack Biyombo into the starting lineup at center and elevated D.J. Augustin to the top point guard spot over Elfrid Payton. The Spurs had their lineup change at the beginning of the season with the retirement of Tim Duncan and the signing of Pau Gasol and needed only a few weeks and some good luck with health to find the rhythm. San Antonio moved to 10-0 on the road and won its ninth straight game overall with a 112-100 win at Washington on Saturday.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (6-11): Biyombo’s ascension to the starting lineup pushed Nikola Vucevic to the bench, and the longtime starter was miffed at the move. “Obviously, I wasn’t happy with the decision that they made,” Vucevic told reporters. “I didn’t think there was a reason for me to go to the bench, but I know it’s coach’s decision and all I can control is what I can control, which is when I’m on the court I play to the best of my ability and help my team win. I have to stay professional and whatever is going on I’ll keep giving my best and give my full effort.” Vucevic delivered 17 points and 16 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench on Sunday.
ABOUT THE SPURS (14-3): San Antonio is winning without overextending point guard Tony Parker, who missed three games earlier this month with knee pain. The Spurs have not lost since Parker returned to the lineup on Nov. 11, and he scored in double figures six times during the nine-game surge. The 34-year-old Frenchman did not play more than 29 minutes in any game since his return but exploded for a season-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 27 minutes on Saturday.
1. Spurs SG Danny Green is 9-of-15 from 3-point range over the last three games.
2. Magic F Aaron Gordon went 0-of-12 from the field on Sunday.
3. San Antonio took the two meetings last season by a combined 17 points.
PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Magic 88