Game 53: Spurs at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Spurs are generally considered the best team in the league. Of course, the Cavs took them to the wire before succumbing.
They won when the Cavs had a defensive lapse with 2.9 seconds left, which allowed forward Kawhi Leonard to bury a 3-pointer for the game-winner.
The Spurs have now won 14 of their last 15 games.
It seems like any lineup Coach Gregg Popovich throws out on the floor finds a way to win. They play hard every night - every play, really - the way it's supposed to be.
They have the perfect dynamic on that team with Pop and the three All-Stars in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The star players lead and the role players follow.
Duncan, a sure-fire Hall of Famer, had missed eight of their last nine games. He probably wasn't at his best, but he ended with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and a game-high five blocks.
He had two key offensive rebounds in the last 2 minutes of the game. He's missed some time with a sore left knee. I have to tell you I love watching him play.
Ginobili was limited with a sore left hamstring. He played 9:43 and still managed five points and six assists.
I think everyone knew the Cavs would come back strong after their horrible performance against Minnesota on Monday.
Parker, an MVP candidate, was the best player on the floor. He had 24 points and seven assists and did pretty much what he wanted.
Pop recently referred to small forward Kawhi Leonard as "Bruce Bowen with skills." You got to love, Pop. He says whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants.
Leonard does have skills. He had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Just love that guy. As an aside, he also has probably the biggest hands in the NBA. That's pretty much a useless fact, but my heads full of stuff like that.
The last thing the Cavs wanted to do was head into the All-Star break riding a three-game losing streak. That's exactly what happened.
Everyone was longing for the Kyrie Irving-Parker match-up on Wednesday. Well, it was a total mismatch. Irving played probably his worst game of the season: a season-low six points, three rebounds, seven assists and five personal fouls.
He looks worn down, like he has no legs. So, he's off to Houston for All-Star festivities and parties every night. Let's hope he shows some constraint and gets some rest.
The Spurs are 4-1 on their nine-game, 16-day rodeo road trip that wraps about the All-Star break.
The Cavs are 3-3 on their seven-game home stand. They had hoped to go 5-2 on the homestand. That went up in smoke on Wednesday.
NEWS FEED: Jeff McDonald's story on how the system is the star in San Antonio..
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to Minnesota on Monday, 100-92.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Kawhi Leonard (6-7, 225)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Tim Duncan (6-11, 255)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Tiago Splitter (6-11, 240)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Danny Green (6-6, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Tony Parker (6-2, 185)
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao, G Josh Selby
Spurs - G Cory Joseph, G Stephen Jackson
Marc Davis, Olandis Poole, Sean Wright