Spurs aim to extend win streak vs. hapless Cavs

NBA
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The San Antonio Spurs are on a roll — well, kind of a roll — after winning back-to-back games last week for the first time since October.

And after five days off, they will be looking to continue that momentum when they host the travel-weary Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

The Spurs are coming off a come-from-behind, 105-104 overtime win at home against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, when Dejounte Murray hit a 16-foot jumper with 29 seconds left for the game-winner. San Antonio trailed by nine points with less than two minutes to go in regulation.

In the previous game, San Antonio beat the Houston Rockets 135-133 in double-overtime, rallying from an eight-point deficit with 1:37 left in regulation.

The Spurs have captured consecutive games for the first time since starting the season 3-0. They are 6-14 since then and lost eight straight at one point, the longest such streak in the Gregg Popovich era in San Antonio.

“It is the best way for us to understand how we need to close our games,” San Antonio forward DeMar DeRozan said of the two comeback wins. “Our mistakes caused us to be in a hole, but we have to fight back so hard. For the most part, as long as we get the win, that’s all that matters.”

Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge returned against the Kings after missing two games with a thigh injury, and he finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. DeRozan also had a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and he dished out a game-high seven assists.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers were set to fly into San Antonio in the wee hours of Thursday morning on the heels of a 116-110 home loss to Houston on Wednesday. It was Cleveland’s eighth consecutive setback and 14th loss in the past 15 games.

Kevin Porter Jr. paced the Cavaliers on Wednesday with 24 points, with Collin Sexton scoring 18, Kevin Love adding 17 points and 11 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson pumping in 17 points, and Tristan Thompson and Darius Garland contributing 11 points each.

In a season of struggles for the Cavaliers, one player, Thompson, has been the rock on which the team can rely. There never has been any question about how hard Thompson plays, and his production has increased this season as he’s been needed to do more. The 28-year-old center is averaging a career-high 13.7 points, and he is grabbing 10 rebounds per game, just off his career high of 10.2, set last season.

“Tristan does it every night,” Cleveland coach John Beilein told the Plain Dealer about Thompson’s effort and heart. “You think about how many touches he gets compared to how many times he goes after the backboard. He’s giving us everything he’s got.”

Thompson, who is from the Toronto area, played a year in college at Texas, winning the Big 12 freshman of the year honors in 2010-11 before heading to the NBA.

Cleveland owns the third-worst record in the league. The Thursday contest is the first on a three-game road trip for the Cavaliers, who will also visit Milwaukee on Saturday and Toronto on Monday.

The Spurs have won their past six meetings with the Cavaliers.

–Field Level Media

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