Season 51, Game 68
San Antonio 108, Orlando 72
38-30, 9th in the West

It’s been over a month since the Spurs won a game without any anxiety or undue late game stress. What a joy, so quickly forgotten in this agonizing season.

There’s not much to say. The Magic really didn’t want to win this game, and the Spurs really did want to win this game. Add that up, and the result is fairly easy to determine.

Of course, the last time the Spurs played an opponent that really didn’t want to win a game, they almost lost the game at the buzzer on a Marc Gasol banked in 3 that maybe could’ve been a foul and given the Grizzlies a chance to tie the game. With the way this season has turned over the last few months, we don’t take any game or win for granted.

Coming off that difficult road trip, the Spurs kick off 6 straight games at home. Regardless of opponent, it’s a huge confidence boost to start the homestand with such a dominating win. Even though the opponent wasn’t always up to the task, just seeing the ball move around and watching the offense hum (and shots go in) can do so much for the psyche and confidence of a team.

Now stealing a couple of wins against these Western Conference opponents doesn’t seem like quite the chore it did 48 hours ago. The Warriors and Wolves are banged up, the Pelicans are still a one-man band, the Wizards are as up-and-down a team as there is in the NBA, and we definitely owe the Jazz a loss. Put together a respectable stretch of home games (4-2, maybe even 5-1), and suddenly we’re right back in this thing.

For a night, it was nice to be reminded of the Spurs we all remember and cherish. Can we get an encore performance?

We’ll find out Thursday night against the Pelicans. This is a really important game for the playoffs, as a Spurs win and a Pelicans loss are both very good things.

Go Spurs Go.