LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Tim Duncan ... what more could you want?
POSTED: Jan 14, 2016 12:56 PM ET
Does Kyrie Irving have another career-best game in store for the Spurs tonight?
The Spurs have won their last 31 games at home with their last loss coming against the Cavaliers in overtime on March 12, 2015. Kyrie Irving was unbelievable in that incredible game, posting a career-high 57 points on 20-for-32 shooting to go along with five assists, four steals and three rebounds in 47 minutes of action. It was arguably the best regular season game of the 2014-15 season and it would be no surprise if tonight's matchup surpassed it. If you missed the game last year, be sure to check out the highlights below.
Cavaliers vs. Spurs
Kyrie Irving scores a career high 57 points as the Cavaliers defeat the Spurs in overtime 128-125.
Nightly Notable: Kyrie Irving
Highlights from Kyrie Irving as he scores a career high 57 points in the Cavaliers win over the Spurs.
The Cavaliers enter tonight's must-see matchup riding an eight-game win streak and a perfect start (4-0) to their longest road trip of the 2015-16 season. The Spurs are on a season-best nine-game win streak with their top-rated defense leading the way. During this streak, the Spurs' opponents are averaging 92.9 points on 44.8 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from 3-point range. The Spurs' allow just 93.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the fewest points allowed since the Spurs of 2003-04 (91.6). San Antonio will be put to the ultimate test tonight against Cleveland, which is averaging 108.9 points on 46.6 percent shooting and 38.1 percent from 3-point range during their win streak (including three games with 17-plus 3-pointers). Will defense or offense prevail in this star-studded matchup?
After three iconic matchups in The Finals and countless memorable regular season games, it's reasonable to label the Spurs as LeBron James' greatest rival. He's struggled in San Antonio, though, with a record of 2-4 in his last six matchups and 6-12 all-time (playoffs included). James started the season as the worst shooter in the league, but his numbers have improved since our own John Schuhmann brought that stat to light. Over his last four games, James is averaging 27.8 points on 56.2 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point, 9.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists. But how will James fare against the reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year winner, Kawhi Leonard?
Cavaliers vs. Spurs Preview
The GameTime crew preview TNT's Thursday night match-up between the Cavaliers and the Spurs.
For just the third time all season, Golden State enters a matchup on a losing streak. They fell to the Nuggets in Denver last night as Draymond Green took a well-deserved night off to rest. The Warriors will likely be without Green tonight, so the offense will run through Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson even more than usual. Despite the loss last night, Curry looked like his usual self as he tallied his 17th 30-point game of the season (he had 17 such games all of last season) and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. He and the rest of the Warriors will be extra motivated tonight, which should set the stage for some huge performances against a Lakers team sporting the worst defensive rating in the league (107.4).
Like the Spurs, the Warriors have been unbeatable at home this season. A win tonight would mark their 37th straight victory at Oracle Arena, which would be the third longest home win streak in NBA history. Golden State has won all 18 of its home games this season by an average of 15.3 points. Will they surpass that margin tonight in what will be Kobe Bryant's final game in Oakland?
Bryant has missed four of his last seven games and is questionable tonight after leaving Tuesday's game at halftime due to a sore left Achilles. He ruptured his right Achilles to end the 2012-13 season, so the Lakers will likely be extremely careful with this injury as Bryant continues his NBA farewell tour. In his absence, Lou Williams has stepped up of late for the Lakers (25.3 points in his last four games, including a career-high 44-point game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday). Will Williams and the Lakers be able to keep up with the 36-3 Warriors tonight?
NBA.com staff reports