What could possibly be a Finals preview, the Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 99-95 to win their tenth consecutive game and 32nd straight at the AT&T Center.
Tony Parker had 24 points and San Antonio used a furious start to the fourth quarter to beat Cleveland on Thursday night, remaining undefeated at home and avenging their previous loss in their own arena.
“Tony has carried us a lot this year because of his two-way play” – Gregg Popovich on Tony Parker’s play
Kyrie Irving was limited to just 16 points on 6-for-16 shooting from the floor, but the game was as intense as we all knew it would be going in. Irving was part of a Cavaliers team that gave the Spurs their first loss at home nearly 10 months ago where he scored a career-high 57 points.
Going into this game all talks were on how many match-ups were on the floor. From Parker and Irving to LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard to LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love, this game had the playoff feel to it.
To each of their own, they made impacts in the game, especially Leonard on James. Holding James to 20 points on 9-for-17 was huge. In fact, ESPN Stats and Info tweeted James’ is successful against everyone but Leonard.
LeBron James Usage Percentage by defender: Kawhi Leonard: 10% All Others: 62% Usg pct – a possession ending in a shot, foul drawn or TO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 15, 2016
He has been the Spurs leader all season long, and once again, he stepped up to the challenge against a premier player in James.
Leonard not only shined on the defensive side of the ball, he added 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win and this put-back slam that got the fans on their feet.
After a 32-point opening quarter, the Cavs were limited to 18 in the second.
Parker scored the Spurs’ final 12 points to close the first half, sparking an offense that struggled against Cleveland’s active hands and rugged defense. Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich praised Parker and his play against Irving.
“Tony has carried us a lot this year because of his two-way play,” Popovich said. “He’s working his butt off on Kyrie Irving, who is a great player. That’s not easy to do, and he was still aggressive defensively. So, Tony was great at both ends.”
*Home Cookin’The San Antonio Spurs continue their run in the history books at the AT&T Center as they are 23-0 this season and marking their 32nd straight dating back to last season–last loss was against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
*Bench Play KeyThe Spurs bench came up ugh for the Spurs as they fueled a run late in the fourth quarter to seal the teams 10th straight win. Spurs bench outscored Cavaliers 35-12.
*More History For SpursWith the win, the Spurs become the first team in NBA History to achieve a ten game winning-streak in six consecutive seasons.
*Ginobili!!!!!Manu Ginobili played in his 900th game, all of which have been with the Spurs.
*Kevin Love ContainedThe Spurs defense helped keep Love at bay. He finished with just 10 points on the night shooting 4-for-10 from the floor.
Jan 14, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward David West (30) grabs a rebound as Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love (0, left) defends during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
David West. What more can you ask for? When his name is called, West leaves it all on the floor. He was solid in 18 minutes of play for the Spurs.
It was his strong play down on the blocks and his aggressiveness that helped the Spurs a key run late in the final quarter. West was 5-of-7 from the floor to scoring 13 points. He also grabbed five rebounds, three were on the offensive end where he converted into scores for San Antonio.