The San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers battled Thursday with the victor earning the right to move on in the new Summer League tournament. After 40 minutes of play, a 27-point performance by Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters and a hard fought Spurs team that was missing its starting veteran point guard for the second half, the Spurs fell to the Cavaliers 72-66.
Spurs 2012 draftee Marcus Denmon led the Spurs from the get-go and did what he could in the final 30 seconds of the game as he had his best Vegas performance with a team-high 19 points, 4 assists, while shooting 7-of-14 from the floor including making 5-of-10 three pointers.
Cory Joseph, who aggravated a back injury in Monday’s win against the Atlanta Hawks played just 14:32 minutes in the first half before sitting out the second half due to the same back injury according to coach Ime Udoka courtesy of Matthew Tynan. Joseph finished with 1 point and 3 assists in the first half.
Coming into Thursday, Spurs second round draftee Deshaun Thomas was leading the team in points averaging 17 points per game. Against the Cavaliers however, Thomas had his roughest shooting performance going 1-of-12 from the field on both open and contested shots. He also missed all four of his 3-point attempts while grabbing 6 rebounds. Thomas finished with just 5 points.
After showing his best game in Vegas on Monday, Nando De Colo also had trouble finding his rhythm against the Cavaliers as he had to play all three backcourt positions at different times as he started at shooting guard, played a bit of small forward, and had to play point guard with Joseph injured in the second half. De Colo went 1-of-8 from the field for 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 5 turnovers.
Aron Baynes also struggled on the offensive end with 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting, but he did again have a double-double with 10 rebounds. Defensively, he did hold Tyler Zeller to just 1 point and 5 rebounds.
With the loss, the Spurs will play Friday in the Consolation round at 3 PM CST against the Milwaukee Bucks. Friday will be San Antonio’s last game in Las Vegas.