Bench dominates, Spurs win by 16
Apr 22, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) drives the lane against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the first half at the AT
The Spurs, behind 62 points from their bench, defeated a feisty Cavaliers team by 16 points. Manu Ginobili, especially, was able to get into the teeth of the defense and, when that happens, it’s over. He finished with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting which included a multitude of Manu-like forays to the rim.
For the majority of the game, the Cavaliers managed to stay within the 10-15 point range. They did so despite shooting 42 percent from the field and their lack of ball movement (14 assists). The Spurs, however, played a sloppy game for their standards. They managed to pick up their quality of play, finishing with 23 assists on the night.
Stephen Jackson scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, including nine points in a decisive 11-1 run that put the Spurs up 20 points with 5:11 remaining. As usual, Jack was aggressively finding alleys to the rim and, at the same time, he also found space to knock down 3-pointers. After making two 3-pointers tonight, Jackson’s 3-point percentage rose to 34.8 percent.
Kyrie Irving and Antawn Jamison combined for 40 points on 16-of-38 shooting. Manny Harris chipped in with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and a team-high plus-3.
The Cavaliers looked like a team deserving of their 21-42 record. Their ball movement wasn’t sufficient and they don’t have nearly enough NBA quality scorers on the team. Irving is a definite keeper and an emerging superstar in his own right, Tristan Thompson is a pretty solid energy guy that rebounds pretty well, Jamison has never lived up to his abominable contract, Anderson Varejao is the consummate teammate but, other than that, the Cavaliers aren’t going to go anywhere anytime soon.
Give the Spurs credit for, once again, taking care of business against a below-average team. When was the last time the Spurs really blew a game against an awful team? The only notable game I remember is their to Sacramento at home but I may be missing something.
With a win tomorrow night, the Spurs will clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
It will be then where they will be truly challenged.
Game notesSplitter (eight points, seven rebounds) had a team high plus-18 … Manu led the Spurs bench with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting … Kawhi Leonard (11 points, seven rebounds) logged a team high 31:37 … The Spurs knocked down eight 3-pointers; they are 27-8 when they knock down eight or more 3s … The Spurs assisted on 54.8 percent of their shots … The Cavaliers grabbed nine more offensive rebounds yet they were outrebounded by three … San Antonio posted a true shooting percentage of 63.5 tonight … The Spurs extended their league high winning streak to seven games … This is their third winning streak of at least seven games … With a win tomorrow, the Spurs will clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference … Parker led the team with nine assists in 21:12 of action … Bonner posted a plus-17 despite not converting on any shots … Green shot 3-for-5 from behind the arc … Jamison led the Cavs with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting … The Cavs offense was stymied all night, they only assisted on 14 shots …