San Antonio At Cleveland
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
The possibility that one or two of the stars on either roster won't play shouldn't diminish the excitement too much when they San Antonio Spurs visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is dealing with back spasms while Spurs center Pau Gasol will be sidelined after suffering a fractured finger on Thursday.
Gasol was injured in warmups prior to Thursday's 118-104 win over the Denver Nuggets and is out indefinitely after undergoing hand surgery on Friday. "It was pregame," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. "He and Kyle Anderson got hooked up somehow or another in a layup line or just rebound, and broke the finger. ... But he's going to be out for a while." Love's injury in not expected to be long term, but he sat out the last two games after being limited in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Cleveland went to a smaller lineup with Love out on Thursday and started veteran shooting guard James Jones, who buried four 3-pointers in 20 minutes during a 118-103 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE SPURS (33-9): San Antonio is well-positioned to absorb the loss of Gasol thanks to the strong play of small forward Kawhi Leonard, who was announced as an All-Star starter when the team was announced on Thursday. The San Diego State product posted his fifth consecutive 30-point effort with 34 points in the win over the Nuggets and is averaging 33.4 points on 63.6 percent shooting in the last five contests. "Kawhi was super, but he’s getting paid to be super and he knows it, and he relishes the challenges and knows his responsibilities," Popovich told reporters.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (30-11): Cleveland was the only team with a pair of players voted to start the All-Star game, with Kyrie Irving earning the nod in the backcourt and superstar LeBron James among the three frontcourt players. Irving broke out of a shooting slump with 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting on Thursday while James added 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 15 assists and nine rebounds. “Obviously for me and (Irving), we want to try and do what we need to do to help our ball club win and lead those guys the right way," James told reporters after the Cavaliers got a combined 13 3-pointers from role players Jones, Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye on Thursday, "but those guys were locked in and we needed it."
1. Cleveland SG Kyle Korver is 10-of-23 from 3-point range in the last three games after going 0-of-5 in his first two games with the team.
2. San Antonio PG Tony Parker (left foot sprain) sat Thursday and is day-to-day.
3. The two powers split the series in each of the last two seasons, with the road team taking both in 2014-15 and the home team holding the advantage in 2015-16.
PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Cavaliers 105
Stats and Records
Cleveland Off vs
San Antonio Def
109.2 Points For
98.5 Points Against