This was a rough week for Spurs fans as Kawhi Leonard’s injury situation went from mysterious to surreal as all sorts of rumors began to fly. The Spurs also had to make do without Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol, but the team, led by LaMarcus Aldridge with solid contributions from Dejounte Murray and Tony Parker took care of business at home and won 114-102.
Jae Crowder opened the game with a deep three for the Cavs off the opening tip, leading to a Gregg Popovich timeout 14 seconds into the game. After a couple of futile offensive possessions, Kyle Anderson got to the basket to get the Spurs off the schneid. Davis Bertans and LaMarcus Aldridge scored inside to even the score at 6. Both teams had trouble scoring as the quarter wore on, but the Cavs were slightly less incompetent on offense as they built a six point lead midway through the quarter. The Spurs began to show signs of life as Tony Parker got to the basket and scored and LaMarcus Aldridge used his size to get easy scores inside. The quarter ended with Cleveland ahead 29-25, with LeBron scoring his 30,000th point on the last shot of the quarter.
Dejounte Murray scored a quick pair of baskets to tie up the score early in the second quarter. The Spurs were able to knock the ball out of Dwyane Wade’s hands and get extra possessions, and although they weren’t shooting well, they were able to build a slight lead early. The Cavs fought back with James and Jeff Green bullying the Spurs in the paint. The Spurs used offensive rebounds to tie the game up at 50 on a Davis Bertans triple. The Spurs finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to lead 63-55 at the half.
The Spurs started out the third quarter hot and built a 13 point lead on the Cavs. Isaiah Thomas got bailed out on a questionable foul call on a three point attempt to cut the lead to 10. Dejounte Murray was able to get to the basket and get easy layups as the Cleveland defense began to look porous. But the Spurs went cold midway through the quarter as Cleveland cut the lead to three late in the third. Kyle Anderson used a couple of slow moves to bring the Spurs back and with a Patty Mills late 3, the Spurs led 89-81 after three.
Tristan Thompson scored the first two buckets of the fourth to cut the lead for the Silver and Black to four. In the battle of the olds, Wade and Parker traded punches and the Cavs bench group brought more energy to keep the game close. But a steal from Kyle and a breakaway Dejounte dunk pushed the lead back to eight for the Silver and Black with 7 minutes left. The Spurs weren’t perfect, they committed some flubs, but their energy level was higher, which led to Cleveland turnovers as the team in Silver and Black extended the lead to 11 points with four minutes left. The Spurs closed it out with Aldridge hitting his shots and free throws. A late three-point shot from Patty Mills provided the cherry on top of the win as the Spurs won 114-102.
- I’m running a fever and my broken shoulder is really hurting, so if this recap seems weird, that’s probably why. But then again, my recaps are always a little weird.
- Bryn Forbes committed a bone-headed error by checking in before Danny Green left the game, which was a technical foul on the Silver and Black. You rarely see plays like that from the Spurs, but it’s been that kind of a year.
- Joffrey Lauvergne blocked LeBron James on a drive to the basket in the first quarter. I’ve never seen such a thing before. But then he missed a rotation on the next possession and got immediately pulled. That’s more like the Joffrey I remember.
- I always talk about this, but really, why wear road uniforms at home? It just looks wrong. The road team always wears the dark uniforms. That’s just the way it should be.
- The Spurs offense looked better tonight than it has for weeks. It’s hard to tell if it was just bad defense from the Cavs, or whether the Spurs reserves are beginning to figure out how to play at an NBA level. They still missed a lot of shots, but they played with a lot more energy and focus than they have recently.
- Tyronn Lue sure has the look of a guy who’s about to be fired.
- Kyle Anderson did a creditable job defending Lebron. Nobody can stop him, but Kyle slowed him down some.
This is a really sad song, but everyone always laughs when Jonathan plays it. Sometimes you just need to practice some self-care and look at pictures of cats on the internet.
The Spurs head up to Memphis tomorrow night to face the Grizzlies at 7:00 pm. It will be a Gasol Brothers reunion, and it’s going to be a tough contest for the Spurs on the short turnaround.