SAN ANTONIO — Rudy Gay had 19 points, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White each added 17 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 104-77 on Friday night.
The Spurs opened the AT&T Center to the public for the first time since beating Dallas on March 10, 2020, the day before the league shutdown operations due to COVID-19. Seating was limited to 3,200.
San Antonio held an opponent under 80 points for the first time since beating Golden State 89-75 on March 19, 2018.
Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Magic in their seventh straight loss. They had seven players out with injury or illness.
San Antonio was without veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. DeRozan left the team to attend funeral services for his father, Frank, who died Feb. 19 after a prolonged illness. San Antonio is attempting to trade Aldridge after agreeing to part ways with the veteran forward after his role was lessened.
Orlando opened with a 7-0 run and extended that advantage to 29-16 while shooting 5 for 10 on 3-pointers. Considering the Spurs have struggled guarding the 3-point line this season, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich immediately called a timeout twice after a 3 from Dwayne Bacon.
Bacon finished with 15 points, shooting 3 for 8 on 3-pointers. Orlando, which was without Aaron Gordon, did not have any other player score in double figures.
Vucevic, who has been mentioned in trade rumours with several teams including the Spurs, made his first four baskets and scored 11 points in the opening quarter.
San Antonio closed the first half on a 14-2 run and took its first lead and extending it to 47-39 to close the second quarter. The Spurs scored the first six points of the second half to extend that run.
Orlando was held to 10 points in the second quarter, the 19th lowest output in any quarter by a San Antonio opponent under Popovich.
Magic: Gordon sat out as he continues to rehab a left ankle injury that kept him out of 15 straight games. … Orlando was also without Terrence Ross (sore left knee), Cole Anthony (fractured right rib), James Ennis III (sore left calf), Evan Fournier (strained left groin), Markelle Fultz (torn left ACL), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation). … Rookie forward Chuma Okeke had eight points in his first career start. Okeke previously appeared in 21 of 37 games, averaging 4.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.4 blocks in 22 minutes.
Spurs: Devin Vassell played for the first time since Feb. 14. The rookie forward was one of five players sidelined due to contracting or coming in contact with COVID-19. … Veteran guard Patty Mills addressed the crowd prior to the game. “We are so pumped to have you back,” Mills said. “Please follow the protocols. Keep safe and stay healthy so we can have you back for more games, and hopefully one day we can pack this building.” … San Antonio is 16-2 when leading by 10 points at any time in the game.
Magic: Host Miami on Sunday.
Spurs: At Philadelphia on Sunday.
Raul Dominguez, The Associated Press