Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Cleveland at San Antonio
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

The Cleveland Cavaliers are spiraling in the wrong direction with nine losses in 12 games and attempt to shake out of their doldrums when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. The Cavaliers were blasted 148-124 by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday and the points allowed matched the worst in franchise history in a regulation game.

Cleveland has lost by margins of 34, 28 and 24 over the past six games and the defensive effort against Oklahoma City was lacking with the Thunder scoring at least 33 points in every quarter. "It's embarrassing. It's not acceptable," point guard Isaiah Thomas told reporters. "We can only go up from here, that's the only positive about that. We've got to really look in the mirror, look at ourselves and get some pride." The Spurs own the best home record in the NBA at 19-3 but dropped a 94-86 decision to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday while committing 20 turnovers as a 14-game home winning streak reached an end. "It happens a little too much with our team," center Pau Gasol told reporters afterward. "We get a little bit out of whack. We don't execute, we're a little sloppy at times and we pay the price."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (27-18): Forward LeBron James needs just seven points to become the seventh player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points but the perennial star is more interested in figuring out his team's porous play. Speculation regarding the status of coach Tyronn Lue has arisen and that deeply concerns James, who doesn't see Lue as the problem but stopped short of giving his coach an endorsement. "I don't know what's going to happen with our team," James told reporters. "I have no idea what conversations have been going on. Me personally, I've been trying to stay as laser-sharp as I can to keep my guys ready to go out and play. Obviously, it hasn't resulted in wins, but I got to stay as fresh mentally as much I can with the struggles. I can't worry about job securities and trades and things of that nature."

ABOUT THE SPURS (30-18):
San Antonio also hasn't played as sharp as its reputation in a season in which star forward Kawhi Leonard has played in just nine games due to a quadriceps injury that is reportedly causing issues between Leonard and the organization. Coach Gregg Popovich decided to shake things up on Sunday by moving veteran point guard Tony Parker (12 points and five assists in 20 minutes on Sunday) to the bench and starting Dejounte Murray, who had eight points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. "A little different, so I guess we're figuring where we need certain things (with Parker) coming off the bench to start the game," Spurs shooting guard Danny Green told reporters. "Trying to get a happy medium of getting some fast pace, slower pace, getting it inside, working outside, but turn the ball over a little less, move it a little bit better."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Spurs won both of last season's meetings, including a 103-74 home romp.

2. Cleveland C Kevin Love (illness) is expected to play after leaving after three minutes against the Thunder.

3. San Antonio backup SG Manu Ginobili (thigh) is questionable after missing the past three games.

PREDICTION: Spurs 101, Cavaliers 96
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Cleveland 27-18 L1 16-6 11-12 0-3 27-15 6-4 20-10
San Antonio 30-18 L2 19-3 11-15 0-2 30-16 5-3 16-9
Last Meeting
Cleveland San Antonio
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/27/17 CLE 74 SA 103 74 40 37.3 103 52 47.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland L. James 17 41.2 3
San Antonio K. Leonard 25 52.4 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland L. James 8 3 5
San Antonio D. Dedmon 13 3 10
Assists Player  
Cleveland L. James 8
San Antonio P. Mills 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland L. James 1223 55.3 201
San Antonio L. Aldridge 1079 49.1 206
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland K. Love 429 93 336
San Antonio L. Aldridge 414 163 251
Assists Player  
Cleveland L. James 393
San Antonio P. Gasol 164
Quickchart Matchup
Cleveland Cleveland Off vs  San Antonio San Antonio Defense
Cleveland Off vs San Antonio - Points For 109.7 Points For
Cleveland Off vs San Antonio - Points Against 97.5 Points Against
Cleveland - FG% 47.2 FG%
San Antonio - FG% 44.7 FG%
Cleveland - Reb 41.6 Reb
San Antonio - Reb 42.4 Reb
San Antonio San Antonio Off vs  Cleveland Cleveland Defense
San Antonio Off vs Cleveland - Points For 100.6 Points For
San Antonio Off vs Cleveland - Points Against 109.5 Points Against
San Antonio - FG% 45.4 FG%
Cleveland - FG% 47.4 FG%
San Antonio - Reb 44.4 Reb
Cleveland - Reb 44.1 Reb