Heat struggle on defense, on the boards in home loss to unbeaten Spurs (Report)



MIAMI (AP) — San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was asked at least a half-dozen times Wednesday about the status of injured starters Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker and when they might be returning.

His consistent answer: They’ll play when they’re ready.

With the way the Spurs have started, there’s no need to rush them.

LaMarcus Aldridge continued his hot start by scoring 31 points, Rudy Gay needed only eight shot attempts to score 22 off the bench and the Spurs stayed unbeaten by topping the Miami Heat 117-100.

“We really didn’t get a handle on our defense for basically the entire game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s a big credit to what they do and how they execute, how they have purpose and intention to every single possession.”

The win was No. 1,154 for Popovich, now one shy of matching Phil Jackson for sixth-most in NBA history. Danny Green scored 15, Manu Ginobili had 14, Pau Gasol scored 13 and Kyle Anderson finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who — even without Parker and Leonard — are off to a 4-0 start for the second…