David Robinson won the battle with Shaquille O'Neal, especially in the fourth quarter.
Robinson had 36 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six blocked shots Sunday as San Antonio rallied for an 111-103 victory over Orlando. Robinson had 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Spurs outscored the Magic 37-17 to come back from an 86-74 deficit.
The Spurs took the lead for good on Dale Ellis' rebound basket with 2:06 left. Robinson added a basket and three free throws, and Sleepy Floyd made four free throws in the final minute.
"This was a big, big victory for us," Robinson said. "The intensity level was high today. It was a television game, so it was big for both teams. There was almost a playoff feel to it."
O'Neal finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds, but scored only three points in the fourth quarter, when Orlando shot only 33 percent from the field.
"We had them beat, but we made some mistakes at the end of the game that cost us," O'Neal said. "We made a couple of turnovers down the stretch that really hurt us."
Robinson sat out much of the third quarter with foul trouble, and San Antonio fell behind 84-68.
"David grew up today," Spurs coach John Lucas said. "He was struggling and we couldn't get Shaquille off the box as we needed to at the beginning. But David came out with all his guns flaming."
Orlando coach Brian Hill said two critical fouls on O'Neal took the Magic out of its game. O'Neal was benched by his fifth foul with 5:48 left in the game.
"For all the abuse he takes on his end of the floor, for them to call a touch foul on him is absolutely absurd," Hill said. "Shaq played a great game. It's just not fair that he had to be taken out of the game on two fouls like that."
Orlando dropped its third game on a four-game road trip that was proceeded by a seven-game post-All-Star game winning streak.
"It's a downer losing three out of four on the trip," said Orlando forward Dennis Scott, who had four three-pointers in the first quarter. "We played good ball for 44 minutes. We play so well for three quarters, but not in the fourth."
The game was played before a crowd of 34,325 at the Alamodome _ the third-largest attendance in Spurs history.