CLEVELAND - Donovan Mitchell sank six three-pointers and scored a game-high 41 points to lead the host Cleveland Cavaliers to their seventh consecutive win, a 117-109 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.
Cleveland nearly led for the entire game, pushing their advantage to as many as 21 points thanks in part to a 29-15 edge in points off turnovers, despite committing just two fewer than the Spurs’ 16.
San Antonio, looking to end a 12-game losing streak coming into Monday’s contest, cut the gap to as few as four points in the fourth quarter.
Keldon Johnson’s 25 points led the Spurs, who had all five starters score in double figures. Malaki Branham scored 18 points, Keita Bates-Diop added 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, Zach Collins finished with 11 points, five rebounds and six assists and Jeremy Sochan chipped in 10 points.
Devonte’ Graham, recently acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans, came off the bench to score 12 points for San Antonio. The Spurs’ 109 points mark the second-highest point total the Cavaliers’ defense has allowed during their ongoing winning streak.
The balanced scoring wasn’t enough for San Antonio, however, which dropped to 0-5 on its annual Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs could not weather an efficient shooting performance from the field from Cleveland, which shot 56.4 per cent (44 of 78).
San Antonio pulled within 95-91 with 9min 16sec left to play when Charles Bassey made a layup, but the Cavs responded with six unanswered points – all off free throws – to essentially put the game away.
Mitchell’s six-of-13 shooting from deep gave him almost as many triples as San Antonio’s entire lineup, which finished the night eight of 21 from beyond the arc.
Jarrett Allen notched 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Frontcourt mate Evan Mobley snared 10 rebounds and scored 15 points.
Cleveland also got 16 points and seven assists from Darius Garland in the win.
With seven straight victories, the Cavaliers are one win away from matching their longest run of the season. REUTERS