Davis-less Cavs fall to the Spurs
George Hill tied a season high with 22 points, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-99 on Wednesday night to become the first NBA team to reach 50 wins.
Tim Duncan scored 16 points and DeJuan Blair had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who bounced back from a 109-93 loss to Memphis on Tuesday. San Antonio, playing its second game since point guard Tony Parker with a calf injury, also got 14 points from Gary Neal and 13 each from All-Star Manu Ginobili and Matt Bonner.
Rookie forward Samardo Samuels, making his first NBA start, had a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.
San Antonio (50-11) started slowly in the matchup of the league’s best and worst teams, but took control midway through the second quarter. The Cavaliers (11-49) built an eight-point lead, but San Antonio closed ended the first half with a 25-16 surge to lead 57-52 at halftime.
The Spurs increased the lead to 77-61 with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter, and their largest advantage was 25 early in the fourth. Cleveland cut the final margin to 10 with reserves from both teams on the floor.
Both teams were short-handed. Parker is out for two to four weeks with a calf injury, but the Cavaliers’ list of missing players was much longer.
Baron Davis, acquired Feb. 24 from the Los Angeles Clippers, didn’t play because Cleveland coach Byron Scott wants him to get at least one more practice with the team. Daniel Gibson was a late scratch because he aggravated a quad injury. Forward Antawn Jamison, Cleveland’s leading scorer, likely will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on a broken little finger on his left hand.
Forward Luke Harangody scored two points in his Cleveland debut, but didn’t play in the second half because of a right hip pointer.
The Cavaliers had five players in double figures. Alonzo Gee scored 18 points, and Ramon Sessions added 14. J.J. Hickson scored 12 points and Christian Eyenga had 11.