SAN ANTONIO – The last time the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs squared off, it turned into one of the most memorable games of the 2014-15 regular season.
The latest matchup is lining up as another stellar affair as Cleveland has won eight straight games while host San Antonio's enters Thursday's contest with nine consecutive wins and a 22-0 home mark.
Point guard Kyrie Irving scored a career-best 57 points and drained all seven of his 3-point attempts as the Cavaliers went into San Antonio and produced a 128-125 overtime victory last March. Irving is just rounding into form after surgery to repair a fractured kneecap suffered during June's NBA Finals and scored 22 points as Cleveland produced a 110-107 overtime win at Dallas on Tuesday for its 14th victory in 16 contests.
San Antonio continued its strong play with a 109-99 road win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday that represents its 16th win in 17 games. The Spurs have won 31 consecutive home games dating back to last season while the Cavaliers are 4-0 on their current six-game road swing.
TV: 7 p.m. CT, TNT
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (27-9): Forward LeBron James scored 27 points in the victory over Dallas, and he has a simple explanation for why the team's success rate has soared.
"We're finally whole," James told reporters, referencing the recent return of Irving and guard Iman Shumpert from injuries. "It took us a long time to get whole and it's paying dividends to our team and obviously we're not going to win every game, but we want to go out, we want to play our type of game - and that’s defend at a high level."
Power forward Kevin Love is performing well and he has back-to-back double-doubles while averaging 11.4 rebounds over the past seven games.
ABOUT THE SPURS (34-6): San Antonio has recorded 16 double-digit victories at home but received a stern test in its last game at the AT&T Center. The Spurs held off the New York Knicks 100-99 last Friday as New York rallied over the final minutes and nearly pulled off the upset before Jose Calderon's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired. A good sign in Tuesday's victory over Detroit was the play of point guard Tony Parker, who erupted for a season-best 31 points on 13-of-19 shooting after averaging eight points on 9-of-29 shooting over his previous three outings.
1. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 10 consecutive times prior to the Irving-led win last season.
2. San Antonio PF LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 13 rebounds against Detroit for his fourth double-double in his last six games.
3. Cleveland G Mo Williams (thumb, personal reasons) could miss his sixth straight game.
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