Game 66: Cavs at Spurs
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs found out first hand why Tim Duncan might be the best power forward in NBA history. He was outstanding on Saturday with 30 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and five blocks. He was 13 of 19 from the field, 4 of 4 from the foul line.
Remember when he couldn't make a free throw? That's a thing of the past. He's shooting a career-high 80.3 percent from the foul line.
He was a handful on Saturday. Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson was certainly no match for him on this night, even though he finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
I had a sneaking feeling the Cavs were going to come out and compete on this night. They were outscored, 28-23, in the fourth quarter. That was the difference in the game.
The Cavs shot 50.6 percent from the field - good against a defensive team like the Spurs. But San Antonio shot 57.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Cavs by a wide margin, 43-29.
The Spurs have made the playoffs in 16 consecutive seasons. They hadn't been playing very well, but sure looked good on Saturday. They are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for a reason.
They've won 50 or more games in 14 consecutive seasons.
They are playing without former MVP candidate Tony Parker, who has a sprained left ankle. He's been replaced by the inexperienced Cory Joseph and Nando De Colo.
The Spurs have won five in a row over the Cavs. They are 34-6 lifetime in San Antonio vs. the Cavs.
San Antonio shocked the Cavs at The Q on Feb. 13, 96-95, when forward Kawhi Leonard hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
While we're on the subject of Leonard, he is a fabulous player. They traded promising point guard George Hill to the Pacers for Leonard's draft rights. I thought that was a steep price to pay at the time. But Leonard fits in with this team perfectly.
On Saturday, he finished with 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
The Cavs managed five players in double figures, led by shooting guard Wayne Ellington's 21 points. He missed Friday's game vs. Dallas with a sprained ankle.
Point guard Shaun Livingston had a season-high 16 points, three rebounds and five assists.
Dion Waiters added 15 points and one assist - his only assist on the two-game road trip through Texas.
As expected, the Cavs were 0-2 on the trip. They'll be off on Sunday and then host Central Division-leading Indiana on Monday.
NEWS FEED: Jeff McDonald's story in the San Antonio Express News about the Spurs' recent struggles.
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost at Dallas on Friday, 96-86.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Indiana at 7 p.m. Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.
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 Shaun Livingston (6-7, 175) vs. Cory Joseph (6-3, 185)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Jones, G Kyrie Irving
Spurs - F/C Aron Baynes, G Tony Parker
Ed Malloy, Eric Lewis, Eddie F. Rush