Aldridge, Leonard help Spurs rout short-handed Magic, 107-79
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22, leading the San Antonio Spurs to an easy 107-79 victory over the short-handed Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
San Antonio’s frontcourt took advantage of a Magic team that was down a key player after newly acquired swingman Terrence Ross was unable to suit up because Serge Ibaka did not complete his physical in time. The Magic sent Ibaka to Toronto for Ross and a first-round draft pick on Tuesday.
Without the personnel to match up against San Antonio (43-13), the Magic were in trouble. Even without injured big man Pau Gasol, the Spurs found mismatches all night and won their second straight heading into the All-Star break.
All three of San Antonio’s frontcourt starters scored in double figures. Dewayne Dedmon had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Magic, meanwhile, have won just once in their last six games. Their struggling offense looked even more disjointed without Ibaka, the team’s second-leading scorer, as Orlando shot just 39.5 percent from the field while committing 17 turnovers.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic (21-37) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green added 11 points apiece.
Ibaka’s absence was immediately apparent as the Spurs built a 25-point cushion in the first half and led 54-37 after two quarters. Leonard scored 11 in the second period.
Spurs: Aldridge had 13 points in the first quarter while shooting 6 of 7 from the field. … Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he expects Gasol (left hand) to return after the All-Star break.
Magic: Green moved into the starting lineup at power forward in place of Ibaka. Green, who is 6-foot-9, started out guarding the 6-foot-11 Aldridge. But after Aldridge scored eight of the Spurs’ first 12 points, Orlando coach Frank Vogel shifted Vucevic onto Aldridge. … Starting point guard C.J. Watson injured his Achilles during the second quarter and did not return.
It was announced during the second quarter that the Magic-Raptors trade had been officially approved by the NBA. Ross passed his physical earlier in the day but was inactive because Ibaka had yet to complete his physical in Toronto. Ibaka passed prior to the game, but it was too late to activate Ross.
Spurs: San Antonio is in the middle of playing eight consecutive road games, with the final two on tap after the break. The Spurs don’t play again until Feb. 24 at the Los Angeles Clippers.
Magic: Orlando, in a stretch of five straight home games, hosts Portland on Feb. 23.
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