Darius Garland scores 32 and chokes the Cleveland Cavaliers late on the San Antonio Spurs to win 114-109.
SAN ANTONIO – Darius Garland didn’t come off the ground in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Cavaliers needed him throughout the 12 minutes and got a solid play from him as well as a good defense to beat Spurs, 114-109.
Two nights after his first triple-double in the NBA, Garland had 32 points and eight assists, including 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“He loves that pressure,” Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff said. “We tried to use our timeouts wisely to give him breaks throughout the fourth quarter. But when he’s on the line, he wants to be in the game. It was a tight match throughout that fourth quarter, and he didn’t want to go out.”
Garland started the fourth quarter with eight points in the first four minutes, including three midrange jumpers. He finished the match with four free throws in the last seconds.
“It’s another way he’s sacrificing for us,” said Cavaliers defender Jarrett Allen, who has 17 points and 16 rebounds. “He could have walked the ball easily down the field… He could have played cool in defence. But still, there was, like I said, those full 12 minutes.”
Garland got off to a strong start in the first quarter with 11 points and four assists. It was 3 versus 4 of 3 in the first quarter. The team was 5-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first.
The opening inning capped the number 3 from the midfield crest and sped through the tunnel into the locker room. That helped take some of the sting out of what had been an impressive second quarter from Spurs as they gave the Cavs a 64-59 lead.
“I knew she was coming in when she let go of my hand,” Garland said. “When I got in, I just started running. The team wanted me to come to the bench. I’m like, ‘Brother, it’s half. Let’s just go to the locker room. We can celebrate later.'”
The Cavaliers relied on their defense in the fourth quarter, keeping Spurs goalless for more than five minutes. After Dejounte Murray hit a jump with 6:04 left to tie the match at 103, they didn’t score until Lonnie Walker IV hit a free throw about 59 seconds ago, trailing 108-104.
Neither team scored for more than three minutes until Laurie Markkanen and Allen dunked back-to-back.
“There was that point where we had 11 stops in a row. When you can count on your defense to do that no matter what happens with your attack, you give yourself a chance,” Bickerstaff said. “Being able to have 11 consecutive stops to close the match It’s impressive, how our guys stuck to the defensive end.”
Garland attributed that long series of defensive pauses to increased intensity.
“We definitely chose it because we knew we had to stop working. As long as we stopped, we would get a good look at the offensive end,” Garland said.
Both rangers put on a show where both Garland and Murray put on amazing games. Murray flirted with a hat-trick on his own as he had 30 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists for San Antonio.
Mobley (15) and Cedi Osman (14) join Garland and Allen as two characters.
Spurs opened the third quarter with a score of 8-2 and shot 5 for 9 of 3. They also beat the Cavaliers, 16-9, for third. But Usman had the Cavaliers’ second beater in the same number of seasons when he hit a 3-elbow to cut Tottenham’s lead to 86-84 heading into the fourth.
Isaac Okoro is back on the ground after missing his team’s previous five games due to a left elbow sprain. He came off the bench and has six points in 16 minutes.
Free throws were a problem for the Cavaliers all night long as they hit 14 out of 24 from the streak.
The win improved the Cavaliers’ 4-1 record in this six-game Wild West Tour.
“I think this trip, funny enough, is about reclaiming our identity,” Allen said. “After Ricky (Rubio) was injured, we saw ourselves stumble a little bit into an identity that I didn’t think it was us. Over these past three or four games, we started learning how to play basketball in the Cavs again, how to share the ball and how to defend.”
The Cavaliers wrap up their wild ride Saturday night against Oklahoma City. Tepov at 8 p.m. ET.
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