SAN ANTONIO : The Cleveland Cavaliers gave San Antonio another tense test at home before the Spurs rose up on defense for what they deemed their biggest win of the season.
Tony Parker had 24 points and San Antonio used a furious start to the fourth quarter to beat Cleveland 99-95 on Thursday night, remaining undefeated at home and avenging their previous loss in their own arena.
San Antonio (35-6) extended its home winning streak to 23 games to begin the season. The Spurs have won 32 straight at home dating to 2015 and became the first team in NBA history with a 10-game winning streak in six consecutive seasons.
The team’s last loss in San Antonio came against the Cavaliers on March 12 last year when Kyrie Irving scored an NBA season-high and career-high 57 points in a 128-125 overtime victory. Irving was limited to 16 points on 6-for-16 shooting this time, but the game was just as intense. Instead of folding on defense in the fourth period as they did in their previous home loss to Cleveland, San Antonio rallied in the final quarter Thursday. James shot 9 for 17 and attempted only four free throws.
The Spurs stiffened on defense and forced 18 turnovers after falling behind by 15 points in the opening quarter. San Antonio limited Cleveland to 9-for-23 shooting in the fourth while making 58 percent of its own shots. Leonard added 20 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio, which has won 10 straight overall.Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which had won eight in a row. Kevin Love finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and J.R. Smith scored 17.
After a 32-point opening quarter, the Cavs were limited to 18 in the second. Parker scored the Spurs’ final 12 points to close the first half, sparking an offense that struggled against Cleveland’s active hands and rugged defense. San Antonio took an 85-75 lead in the final quarter behind a 13-2 run fueled by role players David West, Danny Green and Patty Mills. West had 13 points as the Spurs’ bench outscored the Cavaliers’ reserves 35-12
Quarter by quarter
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FINAL SCORE
Cleveland Cavaliers 32 18 23 22 95
San Antonio Spurs 20 24 28 27 99