Spurs prevail in Cleveland 92-90

BY foxsports • November 19, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw scored 19 points apiece and the San Antonio Spurs beat Cleveland for the 10th straight time -- and got the best of LeBron James again -- with a 92-90 win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Manu Ginobili scored on a layup with 18 seconds left, made a free throw with 9.1 to go and harassed James into a turnover with 1.9 seconds remaining for the defending NBA champions. It was the first meeting between the Spurs and James since last June, when San Antonio overpowered the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

Anderson Varejao scored 23 points, Kyrie Irving added 20 and James 15 for the Cavs, who fell to 5-5.

James was just 6 of 17 from the field and Kevin Love went 4 of 12. After Ginobili missed his free throw, James tried to rush the ball up the floor for a possible game-tying basket but lost control near mid-court.

James insisted the game would not be a "measuring stick" for the Cavs, who are still trying to figure things out in the first weeks of the season. He warned it would take time for Cleveland to jell as a team and, as usual, the four-time MVP is dead on.

The Cavs struggled at both ends, but stayed close down the stretch thanks to Varejao, who scored nine points in a 3-minute stretch to give Cleveland an 86-85 lead. But Duncan scored inside and fed Ginobili underneath for a bucket with 17.7 seconds left to put the Spurs up 91-88.

Irving's two free throws got the Cavs within 91-90, and after Ginobili missed the second of his two free throws, the Cavs had one last chance.

But in his haste to get the ball up the floor, James lost control and the Cavs fell to 2-3 at home.

Cleveland hasn't beaten San Antonio since March 8, 2010, during James' first stint with the Cavs.

Following Monday's loss to Denver, James warned his teammates they'd better not come out flat or they would be embarrassed by the Spurs, whom he called "the Patriots of the NBA." Cleveland was ready, and with James on the bench with three fouls, Irving buried two straight 3-pointers and scored eight in a row to give the Cavs a 47-36 lead.

But Irving came out and the Spurs, helped by two Cleveland turnovers, reeled off eight consecutive points in the final 1:25 to pull within 47-44 at the break.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Coach Gregg Popovich spent the shootaround blasting the media over its critical treatment of James. "If LeBron went right, you said he should have gone left," he said. "If he shot, he should have passed it. If he passed it, he should have shot it, and I always thought that was all baloney. He knows a whole lot more of about what he's doing and what he has been doing than you all. He's a character guy, he's good people, and he's got a great heart." ... F/C Matt Bonner sat out with a stomach bug. He led the Spurs with 18 points on Monday in a win over Philadelphia. ... Spurs G Marco Belinelli missed his eighth straight game with a strained right groin.

Cavaliers: With James, Irving and Love averaging at least 37 minutes per game, Cavs coach David Blatt would like to get his trio of stars more rest. "We will make an attempt to get minutes down for some of the guys," he said. "When you're just getting started and getting the units playing together, you need for them to spend that time together on the court. We're at the point where we will definitely be a little more conscious about it." ... Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, who won the AL Cy Young Award last week, was honored during a timeout in the first quarter. Kluber received a nice ovation and No. 28 Cavs jersey.

UP NEXT

Spurs: At Minnesota on Friday.

Cavaliers: At Washington on Friday.


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