A veteran roster enabled San Antonio to make that admission after escaping with a 121-112 victory over Orlando on Saturday night.
“It’s always hard after a big win against Miami, the emotions,” Parker said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t come out flat, and Orlando, they came out firing. They were shooting the ball very well from outside. They are young and they wanted to prove something. They made it hard on us but it’s a big win for us.”
Tim Duncan added 11 points and 10 rebounds as San Antonio (46-16) tied Indiana and Oklahoma City for the league’s best record.
“I thought Orlando played really good basketball,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who let out a deep breath after the game. “They were aggressive. They shared it. They were in attack mode all night. I thought their defense was good. We picked our defense up and got a little more physical in the second half.”
Orlando was within 101-97 with 7 minutes remaining before San Antonio began a late run.
Ginobili lured E’Twaun Moore into hitting his right triceps, as he rose for an off-balance, fallaway, 14-foot jumper. The Argentine guard made the free throw to complete the three-point play and give San Antonio a 114-104 lead with 2:34 remaining.
Leonard’s first steal came with San Antonio up 103-97 and Orlando coming out of a timeout. He made one of two free throws after Arron Afflalo was assessed a clear path foul.
“Those two steals were huge,” Ginobili said. “One because it was right after timeout and they ran a good play, but Kawhi with those long arms and great hands got a steal and then a fragrant foul and then a couple plays later, he basically closed the game.”
Tobias Harris scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Afflalo had 17 points for Orlando (19-45). Maurice Harkless added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who were swept in the season series.