Game rewind: It wasn’t pretty, but the Spurs won’t complain

For much of Wednesday’s game, it appeared that neither Orlando nor San Antonio had much impetus to win their game.

A litany of missed shots, turnovers and all-around sloppy play didn’t make for a very spectator-friendly contest.

But after escaping with a wild 85-83 overtime victory, the Spurs probably don’t care.

Their first road victory of the season showed the kind of clutch late play which has been the hallmark of the franchise during its dynasty — even if hadn’t been seen at all in an embarrassing loss at Miami the previous night.

It gave them their first road victory of the season as they beat one of the Eastern Conference’s better teams. It also ended Orlando’s five-game winning streak and denied them a chance of a sweep in their back-to-back-to-back.

Even with the grinding offensive play, it produced  one of the most exciting victories for the Spurs this season.

Here are a few of the game highlights.

Game analysis: The Spurs finally found road success thanks to a clutch late performance by Tony Parker and some sticky overtime defense that persevered over a tired Orlando team playing for its third consecutive night.

Where the game was won: Gary Neal hit his first shot of the night with 28.2 left in overtime to give the Spurs an 84-81 lead. After Von Wafer hit a basket and missed a foul shot, Richard Jefferson hit one of two shots to give the Spurs an 85-83 lead.  On the ensuing play, Orlando had several chances for a game-winning shot. But a desperate leaping effort by Danny Green forced J.J. Redick to release his game-winning 3-pointer an instant after the buzzer ended.

A little earlier … Parker hit seven consecutive shots early in the fourth quarter before he was cooled off by a strong defensive effort by Larry Hughes. But late turnovers by Tim Duncan and Parker set up four late points from Redick that tied the score at 73. Duncan’s hoop was matched by two free throws by Redick with 17.7 seconds left to tie the score at 75. But overtime ensued after Parker misfired on a jumper in the final second of regulation.

 Player of the game I:  Parker carried the Spurs down the stretch, scoring 16 of his game-high 25 points in overtime. Parker also chipped in with seven rebounds and nine assists in 44 minutes — his second-longest playing effort this season. 

Player of the game II:  Orlando center Dwight Howard was a menane to the Spurs throughout the game, producing 24 points and 25 rebounds and three blocked shots. He also was plus-8, Orlando’s best plus-minus player in the game. 

Player of the game III: Neal struggled with his shooting throughout the game, missing his first five shots. His only basket ended up being the game-winning shot in a clutch role he has filled for the team throughout his two years  with them.

Most unsung: Green missed all six shots and scored only two points, but came up with the play of the game when his desperate leap at Redick made him pause just enough to keep him from shooting before the buzzer.

Did you notice: Orlando forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis earned a technical foul in the third quarter for an unusual display of disgust after a personal foul. Davis was whistled for a personal foul on a Spurs alley-oop attempt and then was whistled for a techical when he pulled  down his shorts to reveal black Spandex. Parker hit the ensuing technical foul shot to give  the Spurs a 53-50 lead.

Did you notice II: Parker easily dominated his matchup with Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson, who clanked through a 2-for-16 shooting effort for four points. By the end of the game, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy was forced  to insert journeyman Hughes to counter Parker. He did better than Nelson, but not by much.

Stat of the game: A night after allowing Miami to blister them for 68.3 percent shooting and 71 points in the second half alone, the Spurs limited Orlando to 33.3 percent shooting and 82 points in 53 minutes. 

Stat of the game II: Orlando outrebounded the Spurs, 60-41. The 19-rebound margin is the largest by a Spurs opponent this season.    

Stat of the game III: The Spurs hit only two 3-pointers and were 11.8 percent from 3-point territory. Both totals matched the team’s previous low this season in the loss at Houston.  

Weird stat of the game: The victory continued a strong recent overtime streak for the Spurs, who have won three straight overtime games since losing at Houston last April 1. The Spurs have won six of their last seven overtime games and 14 of their last 19 overtime games in the regular season and playoffs.

Weird state of the game II: Including regular season and playoff games, Wednesday’s game was Howard’s 41st game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. Orlando’s record in those games is 31-10.

Quote of the game: “Our defense was great and then Parker got going, and that pretty much was the difference in the game,” Redick, to on Parker’s late surge.

How the schedule stacks up: The Spurs are off on Thursday before three games in four days with a home game against Sacramento on Friday, and road game Saturday at Houston and Monday at New Orleans. The Magic will host the Lakers on Friday before back to back games Monday at Boston and Tuesday at Indiana.  

Injuries: Manu Ginobili missed his 10th game after undergoing surgery for a fractured fifth left metacarpal.  T.J. Ford missed his fifth game with a torn left hamstring sustained last week in Milwaukee. Orlando played without starting forward Hedo Turkoglu (back spasms) and Jason Richardson (bruised left knee).

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