San Antonio Spurs Player Grades in Loss to Cleveland Cavaliers

By Jay Desai
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The San Antonio Spurs received their first loss of their six-game home-stand on Thursday night, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-125 in overtime.

The Spurs had chance to escape with a win in regulation up three with with under five seconds to go, however, two missed free throws by Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio’s final possession left the door open for Cleveland.

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving took advantage of that opening, hitting a three as time expired to send the game into overtime.

From there it was all the Kyrie Irving show as the All-Star guard scored 11 of his teams 18 points on the way to victory.

Irving had a great night for the victorious Cavaliers, scoring a franchise-record 57 points along with recording four steals. LeBron James was equally impressive for Cleveland, contributing 31 points, five rebounds, and seven assists.

For the Spurs, it was once again Kawhi Leonard who led the way, finishing with 24 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Tim Duncan also played well, barely missing a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.

Now that the game is over, we have post-game grades for key Spurs players in the San Antonio Cleveland game!

Check out our San Antonio Spurs player grades below!

A-. Tony Parker has been playing well offensively as of a late, a trend that continued on Thursday night against the Cavaliers. Parker was once again the catalyst for the offense, filling the box score with 31 points, five rebounds, six assists, and a steal. Even better, those 31 points came on an efficient 15-of-23 performance from the field. Defensively, however, Parker struggled again, this time allowing Cleveland All-Star Kyrie Irving to go off for 57 points. Close to half, 27, of those points came over the final quarter and overtime. A little better defense from Parker and the outcome of this game could have been in the Spurs favor.. PG. San Antonio Spurs. TONY PARKER

A+. Danny Green went bonanzas on Cleveland. There is just simply no other way to describe his performance. The former Tar Heel came out to play against his old team, contributing 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 5-of-10 from deep. Green was also a menace defensively, racking up four rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. The Spurs might have lost this game but Green is not the one to blame for the final score.. SG. San Antonio Spurs. DANNY GREEN

A. San Antonio fans experienced flashbacks to the 2014 NBA Finals on Thursday night when Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James matched-up. Similar to the Finals, Leonard matched James blow for blow, and then some. The fourth-year forward finished with a fantastic 24 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists, nearly missing a triple-double. While Leonard impacted the game greatly with the excellent numbers he put up, it would have been nice to see him contain “The King,” a bit more. James had a great night of his own with 31 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Also, those two free throws that Leonard missed to seal the game could loom large come post-season seeding time.. SF. San Antonio Spurs. KAWHI LEONARD

Much like Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan also flirted with a triple-double. Duncan was on-point all the way from offense to defense, contributing 18 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and four blocked shots. The five-time champion also made life awful for Kevin Love who was on the other end of the spectrum in terms of contribution with a poor eight points and five rebounds. The only thing left to say here is that we wish Duncan’s performance did not have to go to waste in the losing effort.. PF. San Antonio Spurs. TIM DUNCAN. A+

C. Tiago Splitter, much like the rest of the Spurs starters, had a solid offensive showing against the Cavaliers. The Brazilian big man scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting, making for a good night. Defensively, however, Splitter was non-existent. In his 23 minutes on the floor, Splitter just managed to record one rebound and one steal. The lack of defensive intensity from Splitter probably was not the biggest issue for San Antonio, but a little more effort on that side of the ball could have the final outcome looking much different.. C. San Antonio Spurs. TIAGO SPLITTER

SAN ANTONIO SPURS BENCH. D. For as well as the San Antonio Spurs starters played, the bench played equally as bad. The Spurs reserves combined for only 19 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Compare that to the 125 points, 41 rebounds, and 28 assists accumulated as team and you really see how non-existent the bench was. The reserves did get one solid performance, however. That came from Boris Diaw who finished with a bench high of nine points on 4-of-8 shooting along with three rebounds. If this loss comes back to haunt San Antonio, the reserves performance is where most of the blame will be placed.. .

Next: Game Recap: Spurs vs. Cavaliers

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