Box Score: Spurs 96 Cavaliers 95

Talk about a strange game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers played the San Antonio Spurs about as tough as you could possibly hope, and they did it on a night in which Kyrie Irving arguably played the worst game of his career since his debut game against the Raptors last season.

The Cavaliers came out strong and rode a combination of impressive bench play (especially on defense) and an unexpected offensive onslaught from Tyler Zeller to outscore the Spurs 32-25 in the 2nd quarter en route to an 8 point half time lead. The 2nd half would mostly be played with a 5 point swing in either direction and the Cavaliers looked to be in good shape to steal a win from the NBA’s best team.

With a 3 point lead, the Cavaliers saw the Spurs’ Gary Neal hit a big three to tie the game. On the ensuing possession Dion Waiters, who led the Cavaliers with 20 points, hit a nice step back 20 foot jumper to give the Cavaliers the 2 point edge with 9 seconds left. But the Spurs had one more play left in them and Tony Parker drove and kicked it out to a wide open Kawhi Leonard who drilled the game winning three.

The Cavaliers had one more chance with two seconds left and drew up a play for Kyrie Irving to redeem his disastrous night, but all Kyrie could do was slip, spin, and throw up an ugly prayer of a shot that had no real chance to go in. Kyrie finished 2-15 from the field for 6 points while his counterpart on the Spurs, Tony Parker, led all scorers with 24 points. To his credit, Kyrie did chip in 7 assists with just 2 turnovers, but he also committed 5 fouls and just looked really off all night. It’s hard not to wonder if his ankle is bothering him more than he’s letting on.

While the loss stings, the Cavaliers should be proud of the way they competed tonight while their leader was struggling. The bench unit was outstanding and the Cavaliers gave great effort on defense for most of the game. Moral victories don’t count for much, but there are worse ways to head into the All Star break than this.

 

1234T
SA2125282296
CLE2232192295

 

San Antonio

StartersPosMinFG3PtFT+/-OffRebAstTOStlBSBAPFPts
Tony Parker
G33:528-140-18-8+41673000124
Danny Green
G28:201-80-52-3+2031140014
Tiago Splitter
C26:422-60-02-2-2371121136
Kawhi Leonard
F32:535-101-22-2-221024142113
Tim Duncan
F25:266-150-01-2+152631051013
BenchMinFG3PtFT+/-OffRebAstTOStlBSBAPFPts
Totals38-845-1915-181144251371041596
Percentages.452.263.833Team Rebounds: 4
Gary Neal
25:076-123-70-0+61211000315
Boris Diaw
18:590-30-20-00041000010
DeJuan Blair
18:186-70-00-102510000312
Nando De Colo
11:471-30-00-0-7002100002
Manu Ginobili
9:432-41-10-0-4016100005
Matt Bonner
8:531-20-10-0-7000000022
Aron Baynes
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Stephen Jackson
DNP – Inactive
Cory Joseph
DNP – Inactive
Patrick Mills
DNP – Coach’s Decision

Cleveland

StartersPosMinFG3PtFT+/-OffRebAstTOStlBSBAPFPts
Kyrie Irving
G31:442-150-12-2-1037211156
Dion Waiters
G31:298-150-14-4-61642102020
Tyler Zeller
C33:567-100-02-2+23942011216
Tristan Thompson
F28:105-130-00-0-14713023210
Alonzo Gee
F22:023-50-11-2-2141120127
BenchMinFG3PtFT+/-OffRebAstTOStlBSBAPFPts
Totals40-972-1113-151648241084101595
Percentages.412.182.867Team Rebounds: 12
C.J. Miles
20:584-112-50-0+80500000010
Shaun Livingston
20:244-80-00-0-1134010118
Luke Walton
17:541-20-02-2+3013000014
Wayne Ellington
17:322-60-21-1-4010020005
Marreese Speights
15:504-120-11-2-3690010129
Omri Casspi
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Daniel Gibson
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Kevin Jones
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Josh Selby
DNP – Inactive
Anderson Varejao
DNP – Inactive

 

 

 

  • Lunch

    Now a number of fans on multiple sites stated that when a player plays poorly, (example: Zeller. But he played well today, oddly) then he needs to switch from starter to bench, traded, or waived. So what should happen to Kyrie Irving?

  • mgbode

    Yup – another good game for Waiters. That is 4 out of 5. I can get used to this from him.
    As for the game, I felt we lost it by fouling Danny Green to end the first half on a 3pter needlessly. You cannot just give away points like that to a team like SA(yeah, I know we were still up 8 at the time).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Thompson had a brain fart!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Irving took his ASB a day to soon! :-(

  • woofersus

    2-15 from the floor. I’ve never seen his shot look so bad. He was aggressive enough, but just couldn’t seem to buy a bucket. They played great defense against him, but he missed a lot of shots he usually makes.

  • Yup

    Shooting 52% in the month of Feb. Clear improvement…

  • Wow

    BENCH HIM

  • mgbode

    I hope so. Still only a 5 game sample, but encouraging.

  • Jaker

    In other news, Speights tweeted about his frustration last night. He has a week to be traded

  • The Other Tim

    How come everyone but Byron Scott knew that the Spurs would play for the win on the road?

  • mgbode

    i thought it was everyone but Waiters. up by 2, you don’t leave a 3pt shooter to help on someone driving to the hoop unless you are 100% sure you can intercept any pass that way

  • Crowsfoot

    1.Gee should not be the player throwing in- bounds passes in crucial situations. He is too slow and predictable, just like he is making offensive moves in traffic.

    2. Kyrie was probably tired from all of the practice preparing for the All Star Weekend 3-point contest.,