The San Antonio Spurs' winning ways continue as they thrashed the Kyrie Irving-led Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Spurs dominated offensively through all four quarters for a 125-90 win as their win streak swelled to eight games. They are now just two games behind the conference and league-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Danny Green came up big against his former team, it was newly-acquired Patty Mills leading the Spurs in scoring with 20 points. 12 of his points came on three-pointers, and while Mills is only three games into his stint with the Spurs, he is showing exactly why the Spurs went after him with 71 percent shooting from beyond the arch.
The Cavs were led by Antawn Jamison's 15 points, while Lester Hudson, who was called up to the Cavs from the Toros recently, scored 12 points.
Paul Garcia was as clairvoyant as he could get in previewing last night's game.
As long as they continue to share the ball, limit their turnovers, and make Jamison and Gee work for every point, this shouldn’t be anything less of a double-digit win for San Antonio. The Spurs should put their foot on the gas from the beginning so that if they are able to secure a huge lead, they can limit the play of the “Big Three” so they will be ready for Boston on Wednesday.
"This was pretty close to a perfect scenario. We got everyone a little bit of rest and all the guys that came in played pretty well. Obviously, we're on a back-to-back and going to Boston tomorrow night, so it's a good thing to have games like this for a number of reasons." -Tim Duncan.
By the numbers
46 to 27 - Spurs rebounding advantage.
18 - Fast break points. Cleveland had 0.
58 - Spurs points in the paint.
16 - The Spurs went on a 16-0 run late in the first quarter to build a huge early lead.
6 - Spurs players that scored in double figures.
After missing four games due to injury, Tiago Splitter has quickly returned to form. Splitter has scored in double figures in his last two games in limited minutes. In 17 minutes against Cleveland, Splitter had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot. Splitter definitely deserves a spot on your watch list. Since Duncan and DeJuan Blair had to play more minutes with him out, look for Coach Popovich to try to increase Splitter's minutes to give Duncan some added rest.
In just over 18 minutes last night, Kawhi Leonard had eight points. three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot. Leonard still managed to produce playing six fewer minutes than his average. Popovich likely rested him for tonight, where he'll get plenty of time defending Paul Pierce.
The spurs are lucky to have Jackson, Diaw and Mills in the lineup. Each provides valuable minutes in the court. With only 3 games, Mills contributed 20 points in last nights game. If the role players contribute quality minutes,it will be a walk in the park. Spurs by 10.