SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: The Spurs could not hold onto a late lead and fell to Cleveland at home in overtime.
San Antonio dropped to 9-15 and will play Saturday in Mexico City against the Suns.
The San Antonio Spurs will look for three straight wins for the first time since a 3-0 start to the season when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AT&T Center on Thursday night.
The Spurs will hit the court after a rare five-day break. They had played either every other day or back-to-back games for more than a month.
“It was definitely taxing especially early on. This break is good for our bodies and mentally as well,” said DeMar DeRozan earlier this week at the practice facility.
Practice was one of the points of emphasis during the break. The other was defense and communication.
“This group is beginning to understand that if they don’t step it up defensively there’s going to be a lot of losses,” said Gregg Popovich. “I don’t think they like what they have been feeling through the first part of the season.”
The Spurs enter Thursday night’s game at 9-14, a game-and-a-half outside of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
They also appear to be healthy. LaMarcus Aldridge did not have a setback in the Spurs win over the Kings and Dejounte Murray appears to be off his minutes restriction. Murray played 32 minutes on Friday.
“Nobody scolded me or anything like that afterwards, so I think we’re good,” Popovich said.
Cleveland is 5-19 and has lost 14 of 15 games. The Spurs can ill-afford to take the Cavs lightly with key games against Phoenix and Houston after tonight’s game.
Tip-off for the Spurs and Cavs is 7:30 p.m.