CLEVELAND — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, Danny Green added 22 and the San Antonio Spurs ended their annual "rodeo" road trip by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-94 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.
Green, who missed Friday’s loss at Denver with food poisoning, came off the bench for the first time in 49 games this season. He made five 3-pointers to provide a perfect outside complement to Aldridge’s dynamic inside game. Dejounte Murray added 13 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, a team not accustomed to any turmoil.
But the Spurs have not been themselves lately while playing without star Kawhi Leonard. They had dropped six of seven and four in a row on a trip (their arena hosts a rodeo every year) that coach Gregg Popovich’s squad typically uses as a spring board into the playoffs.
LeBron James had 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Cavs, who fell to 3-2 since overhauling their roster with three trades.
Cleveland was within two points after three, but the Spurs scored the first 10 of the fourth and made all the necessary plays down the stretch to pull off the impressive win.
Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 4:47 left brought the Cavs within 96-88, but Patty Mills countered with a 3 for the Spurs.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has spent most of the season adjusting his lineups and rotations, and he may have to do some more tweaking after starters Cedi Osman, J.R. Smith, George Hill and Tristan Thompson shot a combined 6 of 28. Cleveland has to find a dependable No. 2 option on offense while All-Star Kevin Love recovers from a broken hand.
Before the game, Popovich joked that it’s easy to become entranced against James.
"I just have to make sure that I don’t just stare at him all night like I did when I first came in the league and played the Bulls. I’d just watch Michael (Jordan) the whole time and Larry Brown would elbow me like, ‘You going to do something?‘ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve got to watch. I’ve got to see this guy.‘"
James dazzled in the first half scoring 17 points with seven rebounds and five assists.
Cleveland built a nine-point lead, but Green dropped a pair of 3-pointers and the Spurs pulled even at 50-all before James hit a 3 in the final second.
Spurs: G Manu Ginobili sat out with a bruised sternum sustained in Friday’s loss to Denver when he collided with Nuggets guard Will Barton. ... Leonard’s absence continues to hang over the team. He hasn’t played since Jan. 13 and Popovich said earlier this week it’s possible the star could miss the remainder of this season. ... C Pau Gasol and Cavs G Jose Calderon spoke in the hallway before the game. They’re close friends, having been teammates on Spain’s national team since 2002. ... Traveled 6,546 miles on their annual road trip. San Antonio is 90-41 on the annual trek since it first began in 2003.
Cavaliers: F Larry Nance Jr. wore No. 22 — his father’s retired number — for the first time since he was traded to Cleveland. The NBA granted Nance permission to switch jersey numbers (he had been wearing No. 24). ... Golfer Jason Day and NFL players Ryan Shazier and Ted Ginn Jr. were among the celebrities in attendance. ... Dropped to 39-10 against Western Conference teams at home since Jan. 21, 2015. ... James passed Rod Strickland (7,987) for 11th place on career assists list.
Spurs: Host New Orleans on Tuesday in their first home game since Feb. 7.
Cavaliers: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday.
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