ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a victory over the Orlando Magic by the score of 107-79. The Magic were without newly acquired swing man Terrence Ross, acquired on Tuesday, and couldn’t stop the Spurs from getting off to a hot start and continue the play that helped them defeat the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Aldridge started the game off with 13 first quarter points, shooting 6 for 7 from the floor. His hot start helped lead to the Spurs to shoot 51.9% from the floor and the Spurs were up by 14 at the end of the quarter. The Magic did not help themselves offensively either– they had 9 turnovers in the opening quarter and 14 total in the first half.
Leonard and former Magic center Dewayne Dedmon did most of the damage in the second quarter. Leonard scored 11 of his 15 points in the opening half in the quarter and Dedmon’s work on the glass helped the Spurs maintain a 17-point lead going into the half.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 16 points and 10 rebounds; and Jeff Green and Aaron Gordon both had 11 points. Orlando started off the third quarter with a 13-3 run in the middle of the quarter to cut the lead to 12 at 68-56, but Aldridge scored or assisted on the next 9 Spurs points to extend the lead back to 19 and the Magic could not get any closer.
Dedmon in his return to Orlando finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. His play on both ends of the court helped ease the Spurs’ front line who were short Pau Gasol again on Wednesday night with a left hand injury.
“He’s been stupendous for us.. He runs the floor, he rebounds, he guards, he gives us great energy and he’s been a great teammate.” – Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich on Dewayne Dedmon’s performance
The Magic will have Ross for a full week of practice over the All-Star break and he will be available for them next Thursday night when they return home to play the Portland Trail Blazers.
Points Of Interest:
- C.J. Watson injured his Achilles in the 2nd quarter and did not return to the game
- Evan Fournier struggled from the floor on Wednesday. He scored 25 points on Monday night, but scored 9 points on 3 for 11 shooting
- Orlando shot 4 for 18 from the 3-point line, while the Spurs shot 8 for 31.
Danny Thompson is a contributing sports writer for Florida National News. He can also be found over at NBA Full Court Press Radio.