Spurs Spoil LeBron's Moment as Cavs Funk Continues

James Reaches 30,000 Points, but San Antonio Holds On for the Win
Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- LeBron James reached an historic landmark, joining the rarefied air of the NBA’s 30,000-point club with a gorgeous pull-up 20-footer to put the Cavaliers up four, 29-25, after one quarter.

Unfortunately, that would prove to be the highlight of the Wine & Gold’s night, as the midseason funk followed Cleveland to the Lone Star State – as the Cavs fell for the 10th time in their last 13 outings, a disappointing 114-102 decision to the shorthanded Spurs in San Antonio.

Playing without most of their regular cast – including Pau Gasol, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobil and Rudy Gay – the Spurs night went the opposite way. A furious Gregg Popovich called timeout 14 seconds into the game and his squad proceeded to post a 38-point second period and never look back in the second stanza.

The Cavaliers – who haven’t been right since falling on Christmas Day in Oakland -- went just 6-for-21 from long-range, were outrebounded on the offensive glass, 13-6, and outran on the fastbreak, 24-10. Only a wide disparity from the stripe – with Cleveland attempting 31 free throws compared to San Antonio’s 16 – kept the Cavs in the ballgame.

That, and a strong performance by James, who became just the seventh player in league history – joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Dirk Nowitzki – to reach the 30,000-point plateau.

On the night, the four-time MVP finished with a team-high 28 points on 10-for-28 shooting, adding nine boards, seven assists and a block.

Kevin Love – who earned his fifth career All-Star nod after being named an Eastern Conference reserve for the second straight season – turned in his 25th double-double of the season, albeit a quiet one, finishing with 10 points and a team-high 11 boards.

Love had his hands full with another 2018 All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, who led both squads with 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting, adding eight boards and a pair of steals. Kyle Anderson doubled-up with 10 points and a game-high 12 boards and the Spurs dual-generation point guard combo of Dejounte Murray and Tony Parker combined for 33 points.

Cleveland’s starting point guard did most of his damage from the line – with Isaiah Thomas going 8-for-9 from the line and 3-of-9 from the floor for 14 points.

Jae Crowder was an efficient 4-of-6 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from deep, to finish with 13 points and four boards.

Jeff Green


Balanced scoring wasn't enough as the Wine & Gold fell to the Spurs.

Dwayne Wade (12 points) and Jeff Green (8) were very efficient off the bench in Tuesday’s loss – combining to go 9-for-12 from the floor to go with 10 boards two assists and three steals.

Iman Shumpert returned to the rotation for the Cavaliers, his first action since November 27, but was limited to just five minutes of action off the bench.

Turning Point -- It’s an age-old theory about the importance of ending quarters strong on the road, and the Cavaliers met their demise with sloppy ends to the second and third quarters.

The Cavs led by one, 53-52, with just over two minutes to play in the first half when LeBron James split a pair of free throws. But Tony Parker would proceed to score six of his 14 points before half, keying an 11-2 run that sent San Antonio to the locker room up eight.

The Spurs upped their advantage to as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but the Cavs rallied and LeBron’s demonstrative dunk with 1:15 to play in the period got Cleveland to within three – 82-79.

But Gregg Popovich’s squad answered right back – with Patty Mills’ three-pointer capping a 7-2 run that gave the Spurs enough room to hold off the Wine & Gold the rest of the way.

By the Numbers33, 14 … years and days that it took LeBron James to become the youngest player to reach the 30,000-point mark, besting Kobe Bryant (34, 104); with tonight’s 28-point performance, he now sits 8,366 away from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time spot.

QuotableLeBron James, reflecting on his landmark achievement

”It’s just a special moment. I just started thinking about everything. My journey from being a kid who first picked up a basketball when I was five years old to first playing organized basketball when I was nine all the way up to this point. I give a lot of thanks to a lot of people, but this is a special moment.”

Up Next -- The Cavaliers will get a couple days off to hopefully work out some kinks before getting back after it with a pair of Central Division foes on top at The Q this weekend – welcoming the Pacers to town on Friday night followed by a 6 p.m. matchup with the Pistons on Sunday. The Wine & Gold travel to the Motor City two nights later before wrapping up the month of January the following evening when the Miami Heat come to Cleveland next Wednesday.

Calls of the Game

LeBron James Discusses His 30K Milestone

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media about becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.

Cavs at Spurs- January 23, 2018

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LeBron James Discusses His 30K Milestone

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media about becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.
Jan 23, 2018  |  04:35

#CavsSpurs Postgame: Kevin Love - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  05:35

#CavsSpurs Postgame: Dwyane Wade - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  02:51

#CavsSpurs Postgame: Coach Lue - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  03:13

GAME RECAP: Spurs 114, Cavaliers 102

LaMarcus Aldridge heats up for 30 points and 8 rebounds as the Spurs cruise past the Cavaliers on Tuesday night, 114-102.
Jan 23, 2018  |  02:13

DRose to DWade for the Dunk

Derrick Rose finds a cutting Dwyane Wade for the dunk.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:11

LBJ Soars for the Breakaway Slam

LeBron James gets loose on the breakaway and soars high for the fastbreak flush.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:09

I.T. with the Tough And-One

Isaiah Thomas takes it strong into the paint and finishes the tough bucket through contact in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:17

DRose with the Rejection

Derrick Rose gets defensive and swats away the shot.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:21

Jeff Green Throws the Hammer Down

Jeff Green gathers the rebound, drives baseline and skies high for the monster slam.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:20

KLove Muscles Home the And-One

LeBron James finds Kevin Love in the paint for the hoop and the harm.
Jan 23, 2018  |  00:15

#CavsSpurs Shootaround: LeBron James - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the following Tuesday's shootaround at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  04:56

#CavsSpurs Shootaround: Kevin Love - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the following Tuesday's shootaround at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  04:48

#CavsSpurs Shootaround: Coach Lue - January 23, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the following Tuesday's shootaround at the AT&T Center.
Jan 23, 2018  |  04:22

Practice: Kevin Love – January 22, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Jan 22, 2018  |  05:25

Practice: LeBron James – January 22, 2018

Cavaliers forward Lebron James spoke with the media following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Jan 22, 2018  |  07:06