SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker said before the San Antonio Spurs hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers that it would be a great test.
It was and the Spurs passed, beating Lebron James and the Cavaliers 99-95 for their 32nd straight win in a row at home that dates back to last season. However it looked as if the Spurs skipped class the way they played the first quarter.
"All together, it was a heck of a win because we gave away the first quarter. But after that I thought we hung in, consistent, patient," said Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs were down 32-20 after the first quarter, but they turned it around with defense and with a lift from David West off the bench.
West brought some much needed energy with five points and three rebounds in the second quarter in just over five minutes.
"When I get on the floor I just try to make an impact , try to contribute, help this team get better," said West who finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
"D-West is the type of guy he is just going to hit people, play hard, that's his game we need that sometimes," Tony Parker said.
"Their bench gave them a hell of a spark tonight," said LeBron James.
While the Spurs were holding the Cavs to just 18 points in the second, Parker was putting them back in the game, taking it right to the Cavs for 12 points in the quarter.
"The first half we were just like flat offensively, just trying to create and make stuff happen. (I) just got going and my teammates just kept setting picks and Pop kept calling my number so I was just being aggressive," said Parker.
Parker finished the night with 24 points following a 31-point performance in Detroit.
But just as impressive as his offense was, so was his defense on Kyrie Irving, who finished with just 16 points. It was a solid effort when you consider Irving scored 57 against the Spurs last March.
"Tony has carried us a lot this year because of his two way play. He is working his butt off on Kyrie Irving who is a great player. It is not easy to do and he still was aggressive offensively," said Popovich.
The Spurs took control of the game at the opening of the fourth quarter when they went on an 13-2 run to get the lead to 10 with 7:20 left.
They were able to hold off a couple of Cavs runs and hang on for the four point victory, although there was a tense moment when Parker missed two free throws with 12 seconds left that would have given the Spurs a six point lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge corralled the rebound, got fouled and made both of his shots from the stripe.
"I was happy, I was happy, (Aldridge got the rebound) I was pissed at myself," said Parker.
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt thought the miss might have been on purpose, that Popovich told Parker to miss so Aldridge could get the rebound.
"I swear to God that went through my mind. I know that is not what it was, but it sure looked like it," said Blatt, "I wouldn't put it past Pop, I don't know."
LeBron James finished with 22 points, thanks to some tough defense from Kawhi Leonard.
"Obviously, coming into this building, they're never going to make many mistakes. And Pop definitely puts those guys in the right position every single possession," James said.
The Spurs have now won 10 in a row and have a record of 35-6 at the halfway point of the season.
"It is great that is a great record," said Parker. "And we do it as a team everybody is involved everybody is playing great."
Next up for the Spurs is the Dallas Mavericks Sunday in the AT&T Center.