Manu Ginobili called out his team for not being ‘playoff ready’ and not competing for 48 minutes. His team answered the call on Monday as the San Antonio Spurs demolished the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 at the AT&T Center.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol each poured in 14 points apiece for San Antonio, who will face a huge tests with playoff teams on their schedule for the week.
The Spurs had their best defensive performance since opening night against the Golden State Warriors, holding Cleveland to a season low 76 points. San Antonio broke the game open in the second quarter as they went on a 22-6 run to build a 26-point lead.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. However, he left in the third quarter and did not return after taking a elbow from David Lee to the middle of his back. He laid on the floor for several minutes before being helped up by his teammates.
Tristan Thompson was the only other Cavs player in double figures with 11 points for Cleveland (47-26), who have lost three of their last five games.
Player of the game:
Kawhi Leonard is Project Spurs’ Player of the game. We know what he can do offensively, but his defense was key in the win. He and Danny Green both held James to 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Leonord also had three steals.
Up next: The Spurs are now 57-16 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday when they welcome Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to the AT&T Center at 8:30 p.m.