Spurs bounce back, crush Magic

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 13: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket during the game against the Orlando Magic on March 13, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, AFP

The San Antonio Spurs bounced back from Monday’s mauling at the hands of Houston with a 108-72 blowout over the Orlando Magic.

LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the starting line-up for San Antonio and duly delivered with 24 points. Aldridge was one of six Spurs to make double figures, helping the franchise improve to 38-30 for the season.

San Antonio, who are awaiting the return of Kawhi Leonard from injury, are battling to avoid failing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1996-1997.

Two of the Spurs veterans, Tony Parker and Pau Gasol, both rallied to the cause on Tuesday with 10 and 11 points off the bench.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich saluted his side’s hard-nosed defensive display as integral to the win.

“The defense really set the tone,” Popovich told reporters. “People guarded their men and took pride in it and the rest of the team followed through. It kind of fuelled the offense a little bit.”

Popovich believes the Spurs defense could ultimately define the remainder of their season.

“We’re not going to score on some nights so the defense has to sustain us,” he said.