The San Antonio Spurs were without two of their starters against the defending NBA champions. When you have a superstar in Kawhi Leonard, you find ways to win.
Leonard scored a career-high 41 points as he led the Spurs to a 118-115 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers inside Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 14 rebounds, while David Lee and Dejounte Murray each scored 14 for San Antonio, who were without Tony Parker and Pau Gasol.
Leonard scored 18 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He has scored 30+ points in six straight games, the longest of his career.
Cleveland had a chance to send the game to a second overtime, but Kevin Love’s three-point attempt missed as time expired.
”Great game. Anybody’s game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”Comes down to making shots. At the end of regulation we had some great shots that didn’t go down. In overtime they had some great shots that didn’t go down. It happens.”
The Cavaliers were led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s 29 points. Tristan Thompson added 14 points for Cleveland (30-12), who will face San Antonio one more time this season.
Both James and Leonard played 46 minutes for their respective teams, for Leonard that is career-high.
Gasol update: Pau Gasol is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing successful surgery on his broken bone in his hand.
Up next: The Spurs are now 34-9 on the season and will return to the court on Monday when they travel to New York to face the Brooklyn Nets at 6 p.m.