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San Antonio vs. Cleveland, Final Score: Spurs drop fifth straight in 117-115 loss

Spurs can’t complete comeback in tight game with the Cavaliers.

San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs lost a tight contest with the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night despite having a chance to tie the game late. They experience similar heartbreak on Sunday when they once again came up short in a 117-115 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Spurs had a chance to tie the game with under 30 second to go, when Victor Wembanyama caught the ball on the low block. As Jarrett Allen came from the weak side, Wembanyama dropped the ball off to a cutting Jeremy Sochan. With the paint clogged up, he made an inaccurate pass to Keldon Johnson on the perimeter who couldn’t handle it. The ball went out of bounds, and the Spurs hopes of winning were crushed.

San Antonio was down 16-points in the fourth quarter. They went on an 11-0 run in the last three minute to get the game within two points thanks to their defensive effort and the play of Wembanyama down the stretch. The rookie finished the game with a team-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. The Cavs’ big man, Allen, outplayed Wembanyama for most of the game, finishing with 29 points and 16 rebounds (5 of those coming on the offensive end.)

The Spurs will get a few days to rest before heading to Detroit to take on the Pistons, which will be a battle of the two worst records in the NBA.

Observations

  • Offensive rebounds continue to be the Spurs kryptonite. They gave up 12 of them on Sunday, allowing the Cavaliers to extend possessions and get second chance point. Allen dominated inside, especially when he faced Dominick Barlow and the rest of the Spurs smaller second unit. The Spurs lost the rebounding battle 44-40 overall.
  • Devin Vassell came out hot, scoring 12 points in the first quarter. He’s been assertive over the last few games, getting to his spots and converting at a high rate. The wing finished the game with 22 points on 9-19 shooting and hit 4 of his 9 threes. Before the game, Gregg Popovich praised Vassell’s aggressiveness against Milwaukee. Despite the Cavaliers keying in on him in the second half, Vassell stayed aggressive hitting some key shots down the stretch, including a step through mid-range jumper against Donovan Mitchell.
  • The Spurs once again gave up a lot of threes in a loss. The Cavaliers went 16-43 (37.2%) from deep as they lit San Antonio up. The Spurs had a hard time chasing Sam Merrill, Max Strus and Caris LeVert off the line. Merrill in particular gave the Spurs fits, as he finished with 18 points on 5-9 shooting off the bench.