LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points, and new starting point guard Dejounte Murray added 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 114-102 win over the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Cleveland cut the Spurs’ lead to 100-94 on a 3-pointer by LeBron James with 5:08 to play. However, San Antonio responded with a left-handed tip-in by Murray, who has taken over at point guard position from stalwart Tony Parker, and a ringing 3-pointer off a mini-break by Danny Green to get the Spurs out of harm’s way for the final minutes.
Patty Mills’ 3-pointer with 1:16 to play pushed San Antonio’s cushion to 112-96 and sent the Cleveland starters to the bench.
Parker added 14 points off the bench for San Antonio while Davis Bertans hit for 13 and Kyle Anderson scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who ended a two-game losing streak.
James scored 28 points to lead Cleveland, which lost for the third time in four games and for the eighth time in their past 11 contests. By scoring eight points in the first quarter, James became the seventh player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, as well as the youngest to do so at 33 years and 24 days of age (supplanting Kobe Bryant, 34 years and 104 days).
Isaiah Thomas scored 14 for the Cavaliers, Jae Crowder added 13 points, and Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Cleveland. Love also led the Cavaliers with 11 rebounds, all on the defensive end.
San Antonio finished strong to end the first half, breaking out of a tie game with 2:47 to play in the second quarter by forging an 11-3 run. The sequence featured six points from Parker and garnered the Spurs a 63-55 lead at intermission.
The Spurs led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before settling for an 89-81 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.
San Antonio outshot Cleveland 52 percent to 47.4 percent in the first half, 50 percent to 48.6 percent overall.
The Spurs played without forwards Kawhi Leonard (rehab from an offseason quad injury) and Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis), center Pau Gasol (right wrist) and reserve guard Manu Ginobili (right thigh contusion).
—Field Level Media