Ginobili led San Antonio to 7th straight victory
With the playoffs right around the corner, coach Gregg Popovich gave Tim Duncan another night off, but it did not stop the San Antonio Spurs to keep piling up wins.
Manu Ginobili scored 20 points in just 22 minutes and led the Spurs to their seventh straight victory, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-98 on Sunday.
San Antonio (47-16) moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder, which lost to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier Sunday, in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.
A victory over Portland tomorrow night, would secure the top spot in the West for the Spurs because they own the tiebreaker over the Thunder.
Cleveland (21-42) lost for the fourth time in their last five games.
Stephen Jackson scored 17 points for the Spurs, DeJuan Blair added 15 points and seven rebounds, Danny Green chipped in 14 points, rookie Kawhi Leonard scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards, while Tony Parker had six points and nine assists in 21 minutes of play.
Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 21 points, Kyrie Irving had 19 points, and Manny Harris added 14 points.
The Spurs entered the game having won four straight games by at least 21 points and at the same time, managed to limit the minutes of their Big Three.
Duncan has already had six nights off this season, while Ginobili has only played 30 or more minutes one time, and Parker twice in their last five games.
San Antonio led only 52-44 at halftime behind 11 points from Green, but the lanky forward left the game in the second quarter after a flagrant foul by Harris.
Green was hit in the left eye by Harris while going up for a layup with 5:35 left in the second quarter. Green stayed on the ground for several minutes before getting up to hit one of two free throws. He then left for the locker room for the rest of the quarter before returning in the second half.
Matt Bonner was the only Spurs player to play and not score in the first half. San Antonio led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter before Cleveland went on a 12-2 run late in the quarter to narrow the deficit.
After Cleveland cut it to 91-81 early in the final quarter, San Antonio went on an 11-1 run to put away the game.
Boris Diaw started for Duncan and had six points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field, Tiago Splitter had eight points and seven rebounds off the Spurs' bench.
San Antonio will have a chance to clinch the West top seed Monday night, when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on their second night of a back-to-back.
(AP Photo/Darren Abate)