Duncan, Spurs host LeBron and Co.
(Sports Network) – A Western Conference powerhouse hosts one of the East’s
up-and-coming teams tonight in San Antonio, where the Spurs entertain LeBron
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AT&T Center.
The Cavaliers got their promising 2006-07 campaign off to a good start with
Wednesday’s 97-94 victory over Washington, but hasn’t had success in San
Antonio in a long time. Cleveland has lost 16 straight times in the city and
last won in San Antonio on December 8, 1988.
The Spurs were also one of the league’s best home teams a year ago, posting a
sparkling 34-7 record at the SBC Center. San Antonio carries a nine-game win
streak in home lidlifters into tonight’s tilt and can match Phoenix (1973-84)
and Minnesota (1995-2004) for the third-longest home season-opening run in NBA
San Antonio is coming off an impressive 97-91 victory at Dallas on Wednesday,
avenging its ousting by the Mavericks in last year’s Western Conference
Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio with 19 points and Manu
Ginobili tallied 16 for the Spurs, who edged Dallas for last season’s
Southwest Division title before falling in seven games to the Mavs in the
Tim Duncan added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Bruce Bowen (13 points) and
Francisco Elson (12 points) also finished in double figures for San Antonio.
James compiled 26 points and 10 boards in his season debut, while scoring the
go-ahead layup with 49.3 seconds to play during Wednesday’s triumph over the
Larry Hughes tallied 27 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who beat
the Wizards for just the fifth time in the last 18 regular season matchups.
Cleveland did down Washington in six games during the first round of last
year’s playoffs, with three of the Cavs’ wins coming by a single point.
Drew Gooden ended with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
Cleveland defeated the Spurs 101-87 in Cleveland last February behind a 44-
point effort by James, but San Antonio has captured six of the last eight
meetings between the clubs.