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Cleveland at San Antonio

Ginobili's hot fourth helps Spurs end Cavs win streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan walked out of the locker room with a slight limp. Tony Parker and his broken hand sneaked out way earlier.

Manu Ginobili made sure they left with a win. A big one.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGB
1o-Dallas-
2x-Denver-
3x-Golden State-
4x-Houston-
5y-L.A. Clippers-
6x-L.A. Lakers-
7x-Memphis-
8o-Minnesota-
Still alive
10z-Oklahoma City-
14y-San Antonio-
Eliminated
9o-New Orleans-
11o-Phoenix-
12o-Portland-
13o-Sacramento-
15o-Utah-
Complete Playoff Race

Ginobili scored half of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and San Antonio beat Cleveland 102-97 on Friday night, ending the Cavaliers' eight-game winning streak that began with a home victory over the Spurs earlier this month.

"It means we're not that far from the best," Ginobili said. "Of course, it's just a game, and at home. But it makes us feel better."

After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Ginobili was still stung that the Spurs couldn't beat both conference leaders back-to-back. But in what will likely be the worst regular-season for the Spurs in the Duncan era, they'll take this one.

LeBron James had 27 points for Cleveland, but the Cavs watched their second-longest winning streak slip away with six scoreless possessions down the stretch.

James misfired twice and turned the ball over on half of those possessions. His frustrating fourth quarter included tumbling to the baseline after losing the basketball -- when Ginobili, fittingly, hooked his left arm around to knock it away.

"I've seen every coverage before, so I've got past the frustration stage," James said. "They did a good job of keeping bodies in front of bodies, sometimes double-teams, sometimes trapping."

James had 11 points in the fourth, but it was Ginobili's quarter. He shot 4 of 7, including two 3-pointers and a stretch of four straight Spurs baskets.

It was the third 30-point game for Ginobili since being forced into the starting lineup this month when Parker broke his hand March 6.

Two nights later, the Cavs began their winning streak with a 97-95 win over the Spurs in Cleveland. They hadn't lost since.

Ginobili's 38 against the Cavs weren't enough to beat Cleveland that first time around. But 30 did the trick this time.

"He's the reason they're still above water even after Tony went out," James said.

Since Parker went down, Ginobili is averaging 23.8 points and has carried the Spurs to a 7-4 mark without their starting pointing guard. Parker isn't expected to return until the playoffs.

"With Tony down, he's got the ball in his hands a little more, He's a playmaker," said Duncan, who scored 16. "If you can put the ball in his hands and let him get comfortable, these are the results you get."

Richard Jefferson also had 16 for the Spurs, and George Hill had 14.

Antawn Jamison scored 24 points and J.J. Hickson added 20 for Cleveland. James also finished with 10 rebounds.

Beating the Cavs gave the Spurs one of their best wins in what will likely be their worst season in the Duncan era.

Excluding the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, San Antonio has never won fewer than 53 regular-season games since drafting Duncan in 1997. But that's now in jeopardy.

The Spurs (43-28) can only afford to lose once in their final 11 games to avoid their worst regular-season record since 1996-97, when they last missed the playoffs after winning just 20 games. They're in better shape this time -- but need to be careful.

San Antonio is seventh in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Portland.

The schedule only gets slightly easier for the Spurs, who go to Boston on Sunday. The Celtics are one of eight winning teams still ahead for the Spurs, including another round with the Lakers and Orlando.

Notes
  • Cavs F Anderson Varejao left the game in the first half with a sore hamstring and did not return.
  • The Cavs face their final West opponent -- at least for the regular season -- Sunday against Sacramento.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Manu Ginobili takes over down the stretch, giving the Spurs a validating win. (Getty Images)
Manu Ginobili takes over down the stretch, giving the Spurs a validating win. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Cleveland (57-16) 2030202797
San Antonio (43-28) «22232433102
CLE:L. James 27 Pts
CLE:A. Jamison 9 Reb
CLE:L. James 10 Ast
SA:M. Ginobili 30 Pts
SA:G. Hill 9 Reb
SA:G. Hill 6 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioCleveland

M. Ginobili

L. James
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
306627510

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Cleveland
L. James, SF3911-214-7510227
A. Jamison, PF379-203-791424
M. Williams, PG312-82-23416
J. Hickson, PF309-162-380520
A. Parker, SG292-40-05515
D. West, SG322-42-23427
Z. Ilgauskas, C192-50-04024
A. Varejao, C131-12-23014
L. Powe, PF40-00-00000
J. Williams, SF40-10-00010
D. Gibson, PG10-00-00000
S. O'Neal, CDid Not Play
S. Telfair, PGDid Not Play
J. Moon, SFDid Not Play
D. Green, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-8015-2340241997
 47.5%65.2% 
San Antonio
G. Hill, PG456-172-496014
M. Ginobili, SG3610-197-866230
R. Jefferson, SF345-85-551216
T. Duncan, PF276-114-645116
A. McDyess, PF214-70-05018
K. Bogans, SG232-52-22148
D. Blair, PF212-52-27216
M. Bonner, PF191-30-03532
R. Mason Jr., SG100-10-01010
M. Hairston, SG41-20-00042
T. Parker, PGDid Not Play
C. Jerrells, PGDid Not Play
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
G. Temple, PGDid Not Play
Totals 37-7822-27422619102
 47.4%81.5% 
Other Games
Utah 106 Final
Ind 122
Min 97 Final
Orl 106
Atl 98 Final
Phi 105
Den 97 Final
Tor 96
Wash 96 Final
Char 107
Sac 86 Final
Bos 94
Det 110 Final
NJ 118
LAL 75 Final
OKC 91
Mia 87 Final
Mil 74
NY 96 Final
Pho 132