Leonard's 41-pt game gives Spurs narrow win over Cavs

LOS ANGELES • Kawhi Leonard finished off a dunk in the final seconds of overtime, capping a career-high 41-point performance as the San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-115 on Saturday.

"I am in a groove," he said. "My players are getting me the ball in the right spots. I am just trying to win."

LeBron James tied up Leonard for a jump ball with 13 seconds left and with Cleveland trailing. James won the tip, but the ball started to go out of bounds when Kevin Love saved it.

But his no-look toss behind his back went straight to a surprised Leonard who sprinted to the other end for a dunk and the clinching basket with four seconds left.

The Cavaliers had a chance to send the game into double overtime but Love missed a three-point attempt from the corner at the buzzer.

Love shot just three of 11 from the three-point line on Saturday.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (right) attempting to block Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs during overtime at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 118-115.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (right) attempting to block Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs during overtime at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 118-115. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Leonard surpassed 30 points for the sixth straight game, while LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the short-handed Spurs.

David Lee scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while starting in place of injured Pau Gasol. Tony Parker also missed the game with an ankle injury.

James and Kyrie Irving each scored 29 points and Love had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

James' deep three-pointer from 30 feet away with 34 seconds left in regulation tied the game 107-107.

Leonard had the job of guarding James most of the night.

"He is a great player. It is always fun playing against a guy like him, who is going to compete on every possession," Leonard said.

Marcus Morris delivered a game-winning putback as time expired on the clock to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 113-112 win over the Washington Wizards.

Detroit squandered a 16-point lead in the final quarter before the clutch basket by Morris, who finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Nicolas Batum converted a four-point play and hit another three-pointer in a span of 31 seconds down the stretch as the Charlotte Hornets toppled the Brooklyn Nets 112-105.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2017, with the headline 'Leonard's 41-pt game gives Spurs narrow win over Cavs'. Print Edition | Subscribe