The San Antonio Spurs will look to add to their modest winning streak and get some of their walking wounded back in the rotation when they square off with the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.
The Spurs (8-18) head home after a quick but successful road jaunt, druing which they defeated the Miami Heat 115-111 on Saturday to win their second straight game. San Antonio got two late jumpers from Devin Vassell and held on as the Heat missed two 3-point attempts in the closing seconds.
“In general, the whole team did a good job,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “They’re behind the curve coming out every night with all the injuries, and they haven’t missed a beat. They’ve competed really well and we hit some timely shots (against Miami) down the stretch.”
San Antonio was led by Keldon Johnson’s 21 points in the win and got career-high 19 from Romeo Langford. Vassell, who had missed the Spurs’ previous contest due to a knee injury, contributed 18 points. Doug McDermott added 13 points and San Antonio shot 53.8 percent from the floor and forged a 46-32 rebounding advantage.
“We did a good job at moving the ball and playing hard and it just happened to go our way tonight,” Langford said. “It shows that the future is really bright for this group, especially because we’re young.”
San Antonio’s recent success has taken away a bit of the sting from losing 11 straight contests. Starters Jeremy Sochan (quad) and Jakob Poeltl (knee) both missed their fifth straight games with injuries.
The Cavaliers (17-10) make their only trip into San Antonio after a 110-102 win at home over Oklahoma City on Saturday. Caris LeVert led Cleveland with 22 points in the victory, the team’s fourth in six games, and Evan Mobley scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, when he made all five of his shots.
Saturday’s game was the second of a home back-to-back for the Cavaliers, who lost to Sacramento on Friday because of a late-game swoon. Cleveland then coughed up a 17-point lead to Oklahoma City, which tied the game with just over seven minutes to play, but made the plays it needed down the stretch.
“There’s opportunities to mature in moments like this,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “But we have to be better, like we can’t continue to do the same things to ourselves, you know, and mostly through self-inflicted wounds. It says a lot that we didn’t allow (the loss against Sacramento) to hang over. We had a bunch of guys step up.”
Mobley also had 12 rebounds in the win, with Jarrett Allen racking up 21 points and 11 rebounds and Darius Garland scoring 13 points. The Cavaliers were without Donovan Mitchell (lower right leg soreness) and Kevin Love (low back soreness) for the second consecutive game.
San Antonio has dropped three consecutive games to Cleveland in the all-time series and has not defeated the Cavaliers at home since March of 2019.
–Field Level Media