SAN ANTONIO — Darius Garland scored 32 points and the Cavaliers beat San Antonio 114-109 on Friday night, extending the Spurs’ losing streak to five.
The Cavs held the Spurs scoreless for five minutes starting with 6:05 remaining in the fourth and outscored the Spurs 30-23 in the quarter.
“We knew we had to most importantly get stops. That was the main thing,” Garland said. “If we got stops, we knew that we were going to at least get a good shot up or score. As long as we got the stops down the stretch, we felt confident in our offense.”
Jarrett Allen finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavs, who won their third in a row and fourth in five games.
Dejounte Murray had 30 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for the Spurs, who are 1-7 in the new year. Keldon Johnson added 18 points and Bryn Forbes had 15.
The Spurs struggled against the Cavs’ frontcourt of 7-footers Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen, and the 6-11 Allen.
Mobley added 15 points and Markkanen had eight.
The trio also helped stymie Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, who was scoreless on just four field goal attempts and no free throws.
The Cavs shot 53% from the field in the first half, with two alley-oop dunks to Mobley and Allen. The Cavaliers finished with four alley-oop dunks. Allen threw down the final one with 1:53 remaining to give the Cavs a 108-103 lead seconds after Markkanen stuffed a one-handed dunk over Poeltl.
“There is a connectedness in our group where they talk to one another, they hold each other accountable,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “They have a collective spirit to want to get it done. When you have that, there is no fracturing, there is no separation. Everybody comes together and they go out and compete and try to get the job done. I thought they did a great job of that.”
The Cavaliers had a 20-point advantage in scoring 60 points in the paint. The Spurs attempted to keep pace by going 15 for 34 on 3-pointers but couldn’t maintain a lead in the third quarter.
“They are trying their best, we’ve just got to do it better,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We’ve got to have fewer turnovers. We’ve got to have better block outs and not give up as many offensive boards. Good decisions on shots, finding the 3-man better.
“There are lots of things we can improve, but we have to be patient to some degree because the combinations that we have, they have basically never played together and some of them are quite young. That’s going to take some time. They’re taking their lumps now, but Cleveland is a hell of a team.”
The Spurs were on a 15-6 run in the final 5½ minutes of the third quarter to take their largest lead before Cedi Osman drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull the Cavs within 86-84.
“Those hurt,” Allen said. “Those hurt a lot more than it shows on the scoreboard. It’s just deflating. You go on a big run like they did and then here I’m pretty sure Evan made the pass to Cedi and it was a swish. You could feel the crowd was deflated. You saw the Spurs just walking off to the bench. It’s tough when you have that momentum and it’s just shut down like that.”
Cavaliers: Point guard Rajon Rondo missed his second consecutive game with a sore right hamstring. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff did not have an update on Rondo’s return. … Isaac Okoro had six points in 16 minutes in his return after missing five games due to a sprained left elbow. … The Cavs are 14-9 on the road after going 9-27 last season. … Kevin Love had seven points and four rebounds in 16 minutes. He entered the game averaging 18.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in his previous 10 games.
Spurs: Derrick White and Tre Jones remain in the league’s health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. Coach Gregg Popovich said he does not know when either will return. … Murray leads the Spurs in points, assists and steals, and is second in rebounding. He entered the game averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 2.1 steals. … Drew Eubanks missed the game with an unspecified illness, which was not COVID-19. Eubanks was in uniform, sitting with the team on the bench.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen lead the Cavs past the Spurs