Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - San Antonio finally got its "Big Three" back
on the floor, but it was Kawhi Leonard who stole the show on Wednesday.
Leonard buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left off a nice feed from
Tony Parker to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 96-95 victory over the
Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
"If Tony had an open layup he would have gotten the layup," Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich said. "He beat the guy and everyone had to come in and that's the
Leonard finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Parker poured in a
game-high 24 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds for the Spurs,
who head into the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak.
Parker returned after missing Monday's win with right knee soreness, while Tim
Duncan (left knee soreness) played for the first time in four games and Manu
Ginobili (left hamstring) returned from a five-game absence.
Duncan donated 13 points and six rebounds and Ginobili added five points and
six assists off the bench to help San Antonio earn its 14th win in its last 15
Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 20 points and six rebounds, while Tyler Zeller
chipped in 16 points and nine boards for the Cavs, who have lost three
straight on the heels of a three-game winning streak.
With the game knotted at 93-93 late in regulation, Waiters drove to his left
and buried a tough stepback jumper from the left wing to give Cleveland a two-
point edge with 9.9 ticks on the clock.
Following a San Antonio timeout, Parker received the inbounds pass at the top
of the key and drove hard to his left before finding a wide-open Leonard in
the right corner for the go-ahead bucket with under three seconds left.
"One thing we always talk about is to never help off the corners," Cavaliers
coach Byron Scott said of San Antonio's final play. "We don't leave corner
shooters, and they're such a good corner shooting team. We can live with a tie
game or go into overtime, but you don't want to give up a three."
Cleveland had a chance at the other end, but Kyrie Irving, who finished with a
season-low six points, missed a desperation runner from the top of the key as
"(Tony Parker) cut me off and I tried to spin," Irving said of his final shot.
"He bodied me a little bit and I lost my balance and that's basically it."
Early on, Cleveland opened the contest on an 8-2 surge and never trailed in
the first frame before taking a slim 22-21 edge into the second.
Both teams shot over 50 percent in the second stanza, but the Cavs used a late
11-4 push to take a 54-46 cushion into the break.
San Antonio then scored the first eight points of the second half to knot the
game at 54-54 before taking a slim 74-73 lead into the fourth.
Cleveland regained control with the first five points of the final frame and
led by five twice in the quarter, but couldn't hold on, as Gary Neal's 3-
pointer with 1:26 remaining tied the game at 93-93.
The Spurs have won six straight against the Cavaliers ... San Antonio improved
to 20-10 on the road ... Neal finished with 15 points off the bench ... San
Antonio shot 45.2 percent (38-for-84) from the field, while Cleveland shot
41.2 percent (40-for-97) from the floor.
The Sports Network