ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic were the more well-rested team going into Wednesday night, but that mattered not one iota to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs, coming off a win Tuesday night at Miami, showed their championship mettle and continued to build toward another playoff appearance by leading the Magic by as many as 25 points on their way to a 103-91 victory. The win improved the Spurs’ record since Feb. 27 to 14-3, while the loss dropped the Magic to 3-13 over the same stretch.
With power forward Dewayne Dedmon back in the starting lineup after missing Friday night’s loss to Detroit because of a sore left ankle, the Magic came out with more aggressiveness on defense. They held the Spurs to 16 points in the paint in the first half, but that was offset by the 7-of-16 showing the Spurs had from 3-point range.
The Spurs became the 10th opponent in the Magic’s last 13 games to connect on at least 10 3-pointers. They finished 13 of 29 while the Magic went 5 of 17 in their first game all season where forward Channing Frye, who leads them in 3-pointers made with 134, was in uniform but did not play.
Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 24 points, 11 of which came after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich elected to rest all five of his starters for the entire fourth quarter. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 11 rebounds, not including the shot he accidentally tipped into the Spurs’ basket which was credited to Tim Duncan.
Dedmon had 10 rebounds and one of the Magic’s seven blocked shots before fouling out with 9:41 remaining and the Spurs ahead 84-64.
THE TURNING POINT
The Spurs took control with a 20-2 run during a seven-minute stretch of the first and second quarters. They hit four 3-pointers over that time, including two by Marco Belinelli. The Magic’s points came on a jump shot by Willie Green, which ended up being the only points they got from their bench in the first half.
Aron Baynes, a 6-foot-10 center in his third season with the Spurs, scored a career-high 18 points. More than halfway through the fourth quarter, he was 8 of 8 from the free-throw line while the entire Magic team was 6 of 7.
STAT OF THE GAME
Through three quarters, the Spurs held a 48-4 advantage in bench scoring, with Baynes accounting for 14 of those points and Manu Ginobili 13. Of the five Spurs to end up in double figures, the only starter to do so was Kawhi Leonard with 10.