Cleveland was cold from the field (41.8 percent) and even frostier from 3 (23.5 percent from deep) as the Cavs’ post-All-Star break record dropped to 1-2. San Antonio used a 14-0 run from late in the third quarter through the start of the fourth to bust open a 13-point lead and controlled the game from there.
Outside of LeBron James, who filled up the box score with 33 points on 14-for-25 shooting, 13 rebounds and 9 assists, the Cavs’ starters struggled mightily.
Cleveland got some healthy production out of the bench tandem of Jordan Clarkson (17 points) and Jeff Green (14 points), but San Antonio’s reserves kept pace with the Cavs’ second unit, only getting outscored 47-38, while the Cavs’ starters were dominated.
As the Cavs continue to develop continuity since their roster overhaul at the trade deadline, the offense was particularly out of sync against the Spurs — beyond the missed shots — as Cleveland coughed up 15 turnovers, leading to 29 points for San Antonio.
The Cavs went up by as many as nine points in the first half thanks to James, who put up 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in the second quarter alone when Cleveland outscored San Antonio 33-25.
The Cavs continue this stretch with home games against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, Denver Nuggets on Saturday and Detroit Pistons a week from Monday before heading out on a six-game road trip.
“It’s still going to be a process,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said before the game. “We still got new guys that we’re trying to implement and try to pick up the plays and pick up what we want to do defensively, but it’s great to do that at home. We’ve got five home games. Fans are great … we’re going to need their support.”