The San Antonio Spurs know their schedule is getting tougher and with that comes a chance to see where the Silver and Black stand among the NBA’s best teams. It started on Thursday night with a date with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tony Parker scored 24 points as he led the Spurs to a 99-95 win over the Cavaliers to remain perfect at home and avenge their last home loss to Cleveland nearly a year ago.
Kawhi Leonard added 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting and David West chipped in 13 off the bench for San Antonio, who won their 32nd consecutive home game dating back to last season.
Manu Ginobili also had 10 points off the bench to pace the Spurs.
“One of the best opponents we can play against. It gave us so many mismatches. They play different than most other teams,” Ginobili said. “Of course, when you have a guy like LeBron, the whole team plays different. Kawhi (Leonard) did a very good job of making him play uncomfortable. As a team we were pretty sharp after that first quarter.”
After allowing a season-high 32 first quarter points, San Antonio used their tough defense and only allowed 18 second quarter points. The Spurs also outscored Cleveland 24-18 in the quarter to cut a 15-point deficit to four at the break.
Cleveland was led by LeBron James’ 22 points. Tristan Thompson added 18 and Kyrie Irving was limited to 16 points, a year after scoring 57 and 7-of-7 from three point range.
“They did a good job of taking us out of our sets, but we also had some really good looks that didn’t go down for us,” James said.
The victory kept the Silver and Black perfect at home for the season at 23-0.
The Spurs are now 35-6 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night when they welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the AT&T Center at 6 p.m.