Cavs 90, Spurs 88 Dealing with some computer issues, so I'm going to have to be a little brief tonight until I get it figured out.
--Let's take a vote: How many of you thought Manu Ginobili's jumper was going in at the buzzer? Well, everyone on the Cavs bench was ready for it after the last few games. --Very solid win for a number of reasons. Yes, it's the Spurs. Yes, it's the Spurs in San Antonio, high quality. When you look at this streak of nine wins in 11 games, there's victories over the Lakers and Warriors at home and wins in Dallas and San Antonio. I'll be checking tomorrow whether the Cavs have ever won in Dallas and in SA in the same season. Nobody does that, much less Eastern teams. More important to the flow of the season, the Cavs continue to play well, especially in the fourth quarters. Their defense for the last four weeks has been up to their level of last season and LeBron James is playing better than ever and the results speak for themselves. --Ok, Ok, this was one of those rare game affected by officiating. In the stretch run players from both teams were executing at a high level and the officials were blowing calls all over the place. You know I almost never, ever cite officials but tonight was different. In general, they let them play, which is good, but there were lots of mistakes. Here's all you need to know, after the game the TNT crew was waiting for like a half hour outside the official's locker room to get the microphone one of the refs was wearing back. The only thing I can think is they were all huddled watching the replays and probably slapping their heads. Although, after seeing it, I think they sort of evened out. Obviously LeBron barreled into Fabricio Oberto when he made the winning basket with 33 seconds left. Oberto was showing off the red mark on his chest made by LeBron's head. But I submit there were at least six other highly questionable calls/non-calls in the final minutes, including the continuation Tony Parker was given when the game was tied with three minutes to go. Both coaches and players were lining up to complain to officials. --The Cavs bench was excellent again. Anderson Varejao had eight rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. Daniel Gibson made another huge 3-pointer in the closing moments. Damon Jones had a few big baskets and Devin Brown's hustle was key, too. In the second quarter the Cavs went on a 22-7 run with LeBron on the bench. --I hear and read lots of complaining about the starting lineup. Stop worrying about it, pay attention to who finishes. Just because Sasha Pavlovic starts doesn't mean he has a huge role. He does need to play better, but forget about the Cavs changing their lineup, they are hot and they are making no changes right now. --There may be some lingering issues with LeBron's ankle. You could hear him scream when he hit the floor after he landed on Parker's ankle in the third quarter. He said afterward it was tightening up. The Cavs have three days to rest and he'll probably need them. --How about Ginobili and Varejao both flopping when they had the ball tonight? Classic work. --Before the game I talked with Zydrunas Ilgauskas about the obscene gesture -- oh, what the heck, this is the net -- he flicked off Donyell Marshall on the bench in Memphis and it got caught on camera. I guess in practice on Monday, Z went over Donyell's back on a rebound and 'Yell wanted a call. Z told him he never get called for going over the back. Then Z did, for his third foul, in the second quarter against the Grizzlies. Donyell was staring at him when he came back to the bench with a smile and that was Z's reaction. "I guess that's the same in any language." By the way, Z was excellent tonight on offense with 17 points and bothered Tim Duncan as much as he could on the defensive end.
Pregame Starting lineups
Cavs: Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Spurs: Tony Parker, Michael Finley, Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, Fabricio Oberto
Officials Mark Wunderlich, Marc Davis, Ed Malloy
--So Cavs still have the same problem as they did the last time they were here, there is no one to guard Tony Parker. But Parker's had some foot problems and isn't 100 percent...supposedly. This will be the key to the game, if they can keep him under control. He sets everything up. --LeBron will get an extra test today, of course. He's been great lately in mixing up his drives and jumpers but he hasn't seen Bowen in awhile. Plus the Spurs wrote the book on how to play help defense on LeBron. --Brent Barry is back for SA, he's been out with a calf injury. He's been playing great for them and spreads the defense well. Could be an X-factor.
Stars LeBron James, 27 points, nine rebounds, seven assists Anderson Varejao, 12 points, 14 rebounds Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 17 points Tim Duncan, 20 points, 11 rebounds Manu Ginobili, 31 points Tony Parker, 23 points, six assists