The San Antonio Spurs escaped Cleveland 92-90, defeating the Cavaliers narrowly thanks to a late turnover by LeBron James.
The game was very tightly contested down the stretch with neither team taking a lead larger than three for the final 7:34.
LeBron James’ late turnover was the highlight of the game though. Down by one with under 10 seconds to go, the Cavaliers fouled Manu Ginobili to send the shooting guard to the line.
Ginobili hit only one of two free throws, giving Cleveland the chance to either tie the game and send it into overtime or take the lead. Luckily for the Spurs, neither of those scenarios occurred with LeBron dribbling the ball off his leg in the Cavaliers final possession.
Manu Ginobili picked up that loose ball and dribbled away the remainder of the clock to seal the win for San Antonio in the late game thriller.
San Antonio and Cleveland played evenly for much of the night. The rebound differential was only four, in favor of the Spurs, turnovers were nearly identical, 15 for San Antonio compared to 16 for Cleveland, and points in the paint totals were closely contested, the Cavs edged the Spurs by six.
Both teams were also even from the field. While San Antonio shot 47.3% compared to Cleveland’s 44.6%, the Cavaliers were able to connect on a better percentage from three 38.9% compared to the Spurs’ 31.2%.
The Spurs effort was led by Boris Diaw and Tim Duncan, who each scored 19 for San Antonio. Duncan also recorded another double-double, finishing the game with 10 rebounds.
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The Cavaliers attack was led by a surprising performer. Anderson Varejao led Cleveland in points and finished tied for rebounds with 23 and 11 respectively.
The win brought San Antonio’s record to 7-4, marking their fifth win in their last six games, while Cleveland dropped to 5-5, an unexpectedly slow start for a team with championship aspirations.
Next up for the San Antonio Spurs is game in Minnesota against the Timberwolves.
What did you think about the Spurs victory? Let us know in the comments!