The Cavaliers have not played many complete games this season, but on Monday night in San Antonio, the Cavs did just that.
Cleveland(18-32) won every quarter against the Spurs(24-24) and led by as much as 32 points. The Cavaliers would defeat the Spurs 125-101. Cleveland snapped their five-game losing streak, and the Spurs have now lost three straight. The win over the Spurs was their largest road win for the Cavs since 2017.
The Cavs were led by Darius Garland, who had a career-high 37 points. The second-year guard was 14/22 from the field, including 5-10 from three-point range. Garland also added seven assists. Collin Sexton added 22 points for the Cavs. The Sexton and Garland backcourt combined for 59 points and 12 assists on Monday night.
Garland has had a lot of success against the Spurs this season. He set his previous career-high of 29 points against San Antonio back in March. According to Garland, he knew that Monday was going to be a good day during shootaround.
“I actually said something at shootaround early this morning,” Garland said. “I was like, ‘It’s going to be a good day.’ Everybody was locked in during shootaround.”
Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was happy with the backcourt play and believes what Sexton and Garland did on Monday night is what elite backcourts do in the NBA.
“The numbers they put up are what star backcourts are capable of,” Bickerstaff said. “That’s what they do consistently. When you think of the elite backcourts in the league, you look at those numbers, and those numbers come consistently, and I think our young guys are still growing. When your backcourt plays like that, that’s how you carry a team.”
Seeing the 21-year-old Garland and the 22-year-old Sexton perform the way they did on Monday night is exciting for the Cavs and gives the team more hope about the future. These two can and have been dynamic at times this season. To Bickerstaff’s point, if they continue to play at this level, Sexton and Garland can carry a team and possibly carry the Cavs to big things for years to come.
On March 22, the San Antonio Spurs began their season-long nine-game homestand against the Charlotte Hornets. At the time, the Spurs were 22-18 and the seventh-seed in the Western Conference after going 3-2 on a five-game road trip.
Two weeks later, the Spurs(24-23) are 2-6 in the first eight games of this homestand, and San Antonio is now tied with Memphis for the eighth seed in the West. The Spurs will finish off this homestand on Monday night against the struggling Cavaliers(17-32).
The Spurs, who have lost two straight, have one of the most demanding schedules for the second half of the season along with the Memphis Grizzlies as each team is scheduled to play 40 games over the next 68 days. The Spurs have played nine games over 15 days, followed by a stretch where they’re playing 17 of 22 games on the road, including seven back-to-backs.
The Spurs and Grizzlies are the only two teams without any two-day breaks, have 11 back-to-backs, and will play more games on the road than at home over the next ten weeks.
In their last outing, San Antonio lost to the shorthanded Indiana Pacers in OT 139-133, which was San Antonio’s second straight overtime loss. Indiana was without their leading-scorer Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.
After the loss to Indiana, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich made it clear that the team has to keep working.
“We’ll just keep going,” Popovich said. “It’s a mental toughness thing to get through the schedule, and we just move on.”
Playing at home is usually great for young players, and young players tend to perform better at home, but with nine games and 15 nights, and the limited amount fans, home is not the same. The Spurs should defeat the Cavaliers(lost five straight) on Monday night, but based on the way both teams are playing, who knows what will happen.
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have waived forward Marquese Chriss. According to The Athletics’ Shams Charania, the Spurs are using the roster space for center Gorgui Dieng.
The Spurs acquired Chriss in a trade with the Golden State Warriors on March 25. He did not appear in a game with the Spurs.
The 31-year-old Dieng appeared in 39 games (one start) over parts of two seasons in Memphis and averaged 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 17.7 minutes after he was acquired by the Grizzlies from the Minnesota Timberwolves last February.
Dieng will give the Spurs size and an additional big man after the team bought out LaMarcus Aldridge, who is expected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
The San Antonio Spurs have reached a buyout agreement with forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the team announced on Thursday,
According to ESPN’s s Adrian Wojnarowski, the cash buyout for Aldridge with the Spurs was $5.8 million. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Aldridge agreed to give back $7.25 million as part of the buyout.
At this point, according to Woj, the Miami Heat are expected to emerge as a frontrunner to sign Aldridge. However, Aldridge plans to talk with several teams before making a decision.
Earlier this month, Aldridge and the Spurs agreed to part ways. Before Thursday’s trade deadline, San Antonio was unable to find a taker for the 35-year-old Aldridge.
Aldridge can help a contender, and if it’s Miami, that’s a great addition for them. The Heat acquired Victor Oladipo from the Rockets on Thursday, so he and Aldridge would definitely help Miami contend in the East.
The 14-year veteran, who signed with the Spurs in 2015, appeared in a total of 376 games for San Antonio and averaged 19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.25 blocks in five-plus seasons for the Silver and Black. The former Texas Longhorn was named All-NBA twice (2016, 2018) and an NBA All-Star three times (2016, 2018, 2019) while in San Antonio.
Five games in seven nights are never easy, and San Antonio finished their five games in seven nights on Saturday night against the Bucks. San Antonio was without Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills due to rest, and while they fought hard and battled against Milwaukee(27-14), it wasn’t enough as the Spurs fell to the Bucks on the road 120-113.
San Antonio finished off their five-game road trip 3-2, and now they prepare to go home for nine straight, starting on Monday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Lonnie Walker IV was spectacular against the Bucks. The third-year guard had a career-high 31 points behind career-bests of 13 field goals and five three-pointers, while Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 26 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds.
Even though the Spurs fell short on Saturday night, their head coach Gregg Popovich was happy with the team’s effort.
‘This is the fifth game in seven nights, and a couple of important guys didn’t play, but it doesn’t matter,” Popovich said. “They all come to compete, getting better all the time.”
Pop was also happy with Walker’s play.
“He played a great game,” Popovich said. “He made shots; he made good decisions, busted his butt on defense. He did good work.”
Currently, San Antonio is 22-17 and in the seventh spot in the Western Conference as they start a nine-game homestand. No matter if they are home or away, Spurs F Keldon Johnson just wants to win.
“I feel like we’re trying to win every game, whether it’s home or away,” Johnson said. “Every game is needed; every game counts.”
The Spurs have one of the longest homestands of the second half with nine games over 15 days (March 22–April 5), which is followed by a stretch where they’re playing 17 of 22 games on the road with seven back-to-backs.
There are some winnable games during nine-game homestand, including games against Sacramento(2x), Cleveland, Charlotte(no LaMelo Ball), and Chicago. The Spurs have an opportunity to make a run. However, they do have a better record on the road than at home, but San Antonio has let fans in the arena, so maybe that will help the team.
It should be interesting to see how they will play during this homestand, but young players usually perform well at home, which could bode well for this team.
Fans of the San Antonio Spurs(19-15), who were in the At&t Center for the first time this season, got a nice treat on Friday night. San Antonio, who trailed by 13 after the first quarter, outscored the Magic by 40 points the rest of the way to defeat Orlando(13-26) 104-77.
San Antonio was led by Rudy Gay, who scored 19 points off the bench. Before returning on Wednesday night against the Mavericks, Gay missed five games due to health and safety protocols.
On Friday night, in 20 minutes of action, Gay shot 6-9 from the field and scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. According to Gay, when he comes off the bench, he wants to be aggressive.
“Well, just basically trying to be aggressive,” Gay said. “When me and Patty(Mills) come onto the court, our thing is to be aggressive offensively, and also, just play the right way and play with each other. Today, I got it going. Usually, Patty gets it going in the first half. I got it going today. It is what it is, next man up kind of mentality.”
After the first quarter(Magic scored 29 points), San Antonio held the Magic, who had only nine players on Friday night, to 10 points in the second quarter and 13 points in the fourth quarter, and Gay gave the credit to Mills and Dejounte Murray.
“I think Dejounte and Patty had the most impact,” Gay said. “They are the people that guarded people bringing the ball up. They start our defense. They started it, and we just fed off their defense.”
Over 3200 fans were in the At&T Center on Friday night, and according to Murray, who had 17 points against the Magic, having the fans back in the arena helped the team.
‘It was great for us because we do it for the fans,” he said. “The fans help us in every aspect. I feel like it was an adjustment that’s going to have to be made by us players. It’s something we have to get back used to because we kind of adjusted to playing with just no fans… To have them back yelling and supporting us was great, and I think it helped us get a huge team win.”
The Spurs were without DeMar DeRozan on Friday night. DeRozan was back in California to attend the funeral services for his father.
The Spurs had all their players(Gay, White, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell) back, who were out due to health and safety protocols. White chipped in 17 points for San Antonio.
San Antonio is off on Saturday and will travel to Philly to battle the 76ers, who will be without All-Star and MVP candidate Joel Embiid. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the four-time All-Star will be out two-three weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee. Embiid suffered the injury against the Wizards on Friday night.