Spurs Handle Cavs at The Q

First Quarter Run Propels San Antonio
Anthony Parker
Snapping out of a funk in the last month of an NBA season can be a tall order. Doing it against the Spurs can be close to impossible.

In what’s become a recurring – and disturbing – trend, the Cavaliers saw the game slip past them very early in the contest. The Spurs closed the first quarter with a 16-2 run, essentially getting all the breathing space they’d need and coasting to the 125-90 drubbing of the Cavaliers on Tuesday night at The Q.

“The first thing is we have to compete – it”s that simple,” said a visibly-agitated Byron Scott. “If we don’t do that, we have no chance. You have to play flawless basketball. We’re not giving ourselves an opportunity to be in a game and win a game because we’re not competing at a high level.”

The Wine and Gold were worked over in almost every aspect of the game by the heavyweight Spurs – who shot 59 percent from the floor, out-rebounded the Cavs by 19, outscored them in the paint by 28 and notch 18 points off the break while blanking Cleveland in transition.

Seven Cavaliers scored in double-figures, led by Antawn Jamison’s 15 points. Jamison was 5-for-13 from the floor, including a perfect 3-of-3 from long-distance.

Kyrie Irving followed up with 13 points, tying Luke Walton with a team-high five assists. Like the rest of the starting unit, the reigning Rookie of the Month got the final period off.

“What it boils down to now is just our effort,” said Irving. “I feel like teams make their run at the end of the first quarter and we get down into a hole that we can’t get out of.”

Lester Hudson, inked to a 10-day contract less than a week ago, led all bench scorers with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting – adding three boards, two assists and a pair of steals.

Semih Erden and Omri Casspi added 11 points apiece off Byron Scott’s bench. Tristan Thompson and Anthony Parker closed out the Cavaliers in double-figures – tallying 10 points apiece.

The Spurs were led by Patty Mills’ 20 points off the bench. The backcourt of Tony Parker and former Cavalier Danny Green combined for 38 points on 16-for-23 shooting.

The Cavaliers hit the road for three games, beginning with the second half of a back-to-back on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. They travel north of the border for a meeting with the Raptors on Friday before closing out on Easter Sunday in New Jersey.

  • Even with Tuesday’s loss, the Cavaliers are still just one of four teams to sport a .500-or-better record against the Western Conference, joining Chicago, Indiana and Miami. The Cavs are now 8-8 against the West; the Bulls are tops at 11-5.

  • Danny Green, drafted by the Cavs in 2009 as the 16th pick of the second round, got the start for San Antonio on Tuesday and went 7-of-11 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from three-point range. In his rookie season with Cleveland, Green played in 20 games with zero starts, averaging 2.0 ppg. This year, he’s appeared in all 51 games for San Antonio, getting 22 starts and averaging 8.4 ppg.

  • After missing Saturday’s game in New York, Kyrie Irving returned and played with a protective sleeve on the left shoulder he injured on Friday night against the Bucks.

  • On Monday at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, Daniel Gibson underwent successful surgery to repair the torn tendon in his left foot and ankle. Gibson will go through a period of rest, then rehabilitation. Byron Scott acknowledged before Tuesday’s game that Boobie’s season is likely finished.

  • Antawn Jamison – at 35 years, 296 days old – is the oldest current player to lead his squad in total points – ahead of Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant. The previous Cavalier to hold that distinction was World B. Free in 1985-86.