Magic at Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have been part of the postseason for 20 consecutive seasons but that streak is suddenly in jeopardy in the congested Western Conference. The Spurs have hit the skids with five losses in six games and 11 in their past 14 as they enter Tuesday's home game against the Orlando Magic.
San Antonio's postseason streak is tied for third-longest in NBA history but the squad is one of four teams separated by two percentage points for the last two postseason spots in the West after enduring a 109-93 road loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday. "Everybody tries to be the best they can be by playoff time and that will be our goal, too," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after the latest setback. "(We want) to be in the playoffs and to be as good as we can possibly be no matter what the circumstances are." Orlando, which has dropped 11 of its last 13 games, is hoping leading scorer Aaron Gordon (18.3 points per game) will be cleared from the concussion protocol after a two-game absence. "Today was a contact practice day, which he did, went through the whole practice and looked great," Magic coach Frank Vogel told the media after Monday's practice. "Now, he's just got to complete the test."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Orlando), FS Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (20-47): Former San Antonio reserve Jonathon Simmons is thriving in his first season in Orlando with career-best averages of 13.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists as well as making a career-high 60 3-pointers. Simmons has put up back-to-back games of 25 and 24 points after the loss of shooting guard Evan Fournier (sprained knee) and relishes his two seasons with the Spurs though he is having trouble dealing with all the losing with his new club. "It's unfortunate how our season has gone, but I'll keep the hope that something is going to change," Simmons told reporters. "I'm just trying to make myself better. I understand that we're not going to be a playoff team, so I'm trying to get better leading up to next season."
ABOUT THE SPURS (37-30): All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) missed the loss to Houston and it will be decided at some point Tuesday whether or not he will play against Orlando. Speculation continues to percolate that two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) will return later this week and Popovich said a discussion with the star forward will be he held Tuesday. "I'll see Kawhi," Popovich told reporters of a player limited to nine games this season due to the injury. "We'll see how he's feeling, and see how ready he is, and see how ready I think he is. And we'll go from there."
1. The Magic rolled to a 114-87 home victory on Oct. 27 for just their third win in the past 16 meetings with the Spurs.
2. San Antonio reserve PG Tony Parker is averaging 13 points on 22-of-33 shooting over the past four games.
3. Orlando C Nikola Vucevic is averaging 18.3 points and 9.5 rebounds with four double-doubles in six March outings.