Game 67: Cavs at Spurs
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
1. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving scored more points tonight than any player in the team's 45-year history. The All-Star point guard scored a franchise-record 57 points. It was the most points scored by an NBA player this season. It tied Purvis Short's record for the most points ever scored against the Spurs. He had 57 against San Antonio in 1984. Irving snapped LeBron James' team record of 56 in 2005 in Toronto. Irving had 55 points against Portland earlier in the season.
2. Irving had 11 points in overtime, as the Cavs outscored San Antonio in the extra period, 18-15. He also drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation that tied the score at 110-110.
3. The Cavs had lost their last 10 games to the defending NBA champion Spurs. They had also dropped their last five at the AT&T Center. The Spurs had a six-game winning streak snapped. They had won 14 of their previous 16 home games, including six in a row.
4. The Cavs are 2-0 on this four-game road trip. They obliterated Dallas on Tuesday and beat the defending league champ on Thursday. Hey, has this been a successful trip? Do pigs fly? They flew to Florida after the game and were scheduled to enjoy a well-deserved day off on Friday. They return to the court on Sunday in Orlando.
5. Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is a fabulous player, but missed two free throws with 4.3 seconds left in regulation. Instead of having a five-point lead, the Spurs led by just three points, 110-107. That led to Irving's 3 at the buzzer.
6. Some are billing this as a preview of the NBA Finals. If it is, it's going to be a thrilling series. Unlike 2007 when the Cavs were undermanned, they now have the firepower to compete with the aging Spurs.
7. I had a feeling before the game the Cavs really wanted this one. They really wanted to show the rest of the league they are better than the Spurs. The Cavs have now won 23 of their last 28 games.
8. The Spurs, the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, have always known how to defend James. Much like Atlanta, they blitz him coming off the pick-and-roll. I said before the game one of the other players had to step up. Obviously, one of them did - Irving. The Spurs didn't want James to beat them. Perhaps they paid too much attention to James because Irving totally exploited them.
9. Leonard is the Spurs' leading scorer at 15.8 points per game. He leads the NBA in steals with 2.16 per game. He's having a solid season.
10. Duncan is starting to show his age - he'll be 39 in April. He's still averaging 14.1 points and a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game. Many feel Duncan is the best power forward in NBA history.
11. The Cavs are 13-1 in their last 14 games against the West. They've outscored those opponents by 10 points per game in this amazing streak.
UP NEXT: at Orlando, Amway Center, 6 p.m. Sunday
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Kawhi Leonard (6-7, 230)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Tiago Splitter (6-11, 245)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. Danny Green (6-6, 215)
Spurs - G/F Kyle Anderson, F Reggie Williams
Derrick Stafford, Eric Lewis, Dedric Taylor