Why doesn’t Kawhi Leonard play all out on a nightly basis? Well, the defending champions don’t necessarily need any particular player to consistently shine throughout the season. They have been the epitome of team basketball at the NBA level, which has allowed Tim Duncan and other veterans to rest and extend their careers. Leonard has all the tools to take his game to another level, and I believe he will, but in due time as the reigns get handed over and he’s asked to grab the torch. Tonight, Leonard dropped a stat line of 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists, all while contesting nearly everything to do with LeBron James. Perhaps the only mistake he made on the evening, was not fouling Irving at the end of regulation, or getting caught on his heels when he knew the Cavaliers needed a trey.
Kyrie Irving erupted for his second 50-point game, scoring 57 points in the comeback victory that he sent to overtime with a 3-ball at the buzzer. Irving ate every defender alive, drilling all seven attempts from behind the arc and all 10 free throws. “Uncle Drew” was on fire to say the least, scoring a career-high, also putting up the most points of anyone so far this season. Irving also snagged four steals and dropped five dimes. I guess you can say that “King James” chimed in with 31 points of his own, along with 7 assists, 5 boards, 2 steals and a block. Leonard applied tight pressure on James and the Spurs help defense rotated well as they usually do, keeping James scoreless for 18 straight minutes of action. It’s always fun to watch James and Leonard battle it out when they play, both were physical and getting into each other defensively.
Those were the stars of the show tonight in San Antonio. Tony Parker got into a groove of his own by going off for 31 points and 6 assists. Danny Green was timely with some perimeter shots, he ended up with 24 points and a couple steals. Duncan filled allt he boxes, highlighted by his 18 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 blocks. It was an exciting game where each team scored 30 in the first two quarters. The NBA Jam duo of the Cavs went on the road and got the best of the savvy Spurs 128-125.