Vassell, Walker lead balanced Spurs past Magic, 123-97



SAN ANTONIO (AP) Devin Vassell scored 19 points, Lonnie Walker added 17 and the San Antonio Spurs continued their success on opening night by dominating the Orlando Magic 123-97 on Wednesday night.

San Antonio is 23-2 in season openers under Gregg Popovich.

Vassell and Walker provided a needed boost in scoring off the bench with the team losing reserves Patty Mills and Rudy Gay to free agency in the offseason.

Every Spurs starter scored in double figures with Derrick White adding 16 points and Jakob Poeltl adding 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Mo Bamba had 18 points and Terrance Ross added 15 points to lead Orlando.

The matchup between the rebuilding teams was played at a frenetic pace, which the Spurs were more comfortable with.

San Antonio outscored the Magic 21-7 on turnovers.

The Spurs scored seven straight points in a 45-second span late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Walker, a steal and dunk by Vassell and a tip follow by Poeltl. Vassell capped a nine-point run to close the third with a 3-pointer for a 94-71 lead.

San Antonio used their defense to erase an early deficit and build a 14-point lead in the first half.

The Spurs, who emphasized adding 3-point shooting in the offseason, were 13 for 30 overall on 3s.

Doug McDermott, the team’s first free-agent signing of the offseason, had back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 12 points.


Magic: Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said rookie Jalen Suggs was still getting over an illness, which was a factor in Cole Anthony starting at point guard over the fifth overall pick. Suggs started at shooting guard. . The Magic missed 414 games last season due to injury. . Bamba hit the court after getting tangled with Ross on an attempted defensive rebound. Both remained on the court for a few seconds but were fine.

Spurs: As Popovich enters his 26th season, the league’s other franchises have gone through 291 head coaches. Every franchise has had at least three coaches during Popovich’s tenure with the Spurs. . San Antonio’s only season-opening losses came against Phoenix in 2008 and Oklahoma City in 2015. . Tre Jones made his season debut after missing the entire preseason with a sprained left ankle.


Magic: Host New York on Friday.

Spurs: At Denver on Friday.


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