For over a decade the San Antonio Spurs have been one of the best at adjusting to setbacks and not following the trend.
The Spurs gave the Heat a demonstration of both on Wednesday night.
Despite playing without injured All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Tony Parker, the Heat (without Hassan Whiteside) couldn’t handle LaMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio’s frontcourt in a 117-100 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Aldridge led the Spurs with 31 points on 12 of 18 shooting and the Spurs outrebounded the Heat 45-32.
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The Spurs shot 55.3 percent to the Heat’s 45.7 percent.
The Heat (2-2), who lost its eighth consecutive regular season meeting with the Spurs (4-0) matched them 44-44 in points in the paint, but that was only after being outscored in that category 40-28 over the first three quarters.
Whiteside missed his third consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Rookie Bam Adebayo made his first career NBA start in an attempt to counter the Spurs’ tall frontcourt of the 6-11 Aldridge, 7-foot Pau Gasol and 6-9 Kyle Anderson.
Adebayo played 20 minutes and scored four points on two alley-oop buckets and finished with eight rebounds and a block.
Tyler Johnson led the Heat with 23 points off the bench, James Johnson had 21 and Goran Dragic had 20.
Dion Waiters started despite a sore left ankle and scored 17 points.