SAN ANTONIO — Darius Garland didn’t come off the floor in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Cavaliers needed him for the entire 12 minutes and got strong play from him as well as good defense to beat the Spurs, 114-109.
Two nights after getting his first NBA triple-double, Garland had 32 points and eight assists, including 14 points in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers leaned on their defense in the fourth quarter, keeping the Spurs scoreless for more than five minutes. After Dejounte Murray hit a jumper with 6:04 left to tie the game at 103, they didn’t score until Lonnie Walker IV hit a free throw with about 59 seconds left, trailing 108-104.
Neither team scored for more than three minutes until Lauri Markkanen and Jarrett Allen had back-to-back dunks.
Both point guards put on a show as Garland and Murray each had spectacular games. Murray flirted with a triple-double of his own as he had 30 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for San Antonio.
Garland got off to a hot start in the first quarter with 11 points and four assists. He was 3-for-4 from 3 in the opening quarter. The team was 5-for-9 from 3 in the first.
He capped off the opening half with a 3 from the mid-court logo and sprinted down the tunnel into the locker room. That helped take some of the sting out of what had been a great second quarter from the Spurs as he gave the Cavs a 64-59 lead.
Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Evan Mobley (15) and Cedi Osman (14) were the other Cavaliers players in double figures.
The Spurs opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run and shot 5-for-9 from 3. They also outrebounded the Cavaliers, 16-9, in the third. But Osman had the Cavaliers’ second buzzer beater in as many quarters when he hit a 3 from the elbow to cut the Spurs’ lead to 86-84 heading into the fourth.
Isaac Okoro returned to the floor after missing his team’s previous five games with a left elbow sprain. He came off the bench and had six points in 16 minutes.
Free throws were a problem for the Cavaliers throughout the night as they hit just 14 of 24 from the line. Garland had four consecutive makes in the final seconds to help ice the game.
The win improved the Cavaliers to a 4-1 record on this six-game western road trip.
The Cavaliers wrap up their road trip in Saturday night against Oklahoma City. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. Eastern.
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