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DeRozan takes blame for Spurs overtime loss to lowly Cavs

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in San Antonio, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in San Antonio, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs roller coaster season hit another dip with an overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs failed to maintain a five-point lead with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter and fell 117-109 to the Cavaliers. The loss drops San Antonio to 9-15.

DeMar DeRozan had 21 points for San Antonio but missed a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining in regulation and the Spurs leading 103-100. DeRozan shouldered blame for the loss.

“I put that loss on myself. No excuse why I shouldn’t have made those free throws,” DeRozan said. “That’s just not acceptable on my part."

Kevin Love followed by tying the game at 103 on a 3 with 7.5 seconds to go.

DeRozan then missed a 20-foot fadeaway jumper at the close of regulation.

The Cavaliers opened overtime on an 8-4 run, including back-to-back 3s by Love and Cedi Osman, to capture just their third road win of the season and sixth overall victory.

Love finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds. The Cavs had lost 14 of 15 games headed into Thursday night’s game.

“It was a great celebration as a team and you could tell (from) the energy (at the close of regulation that) we were going to come out with the victory,” guard Collin Sexton said.

The Spurs outscored the Cavs 35-22 in the fourth period after trailing by 13 in the third.

Consecutive layups by DeRozan put San Antonio up 84-83 with 6:23 remaining. It was the Spurs' first lead since Rudy Gay's 3-pointer put them ahead 7-6 with 8:19 left in the first quarter.

Derrick White added 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 for San Antonio.

“It's on all of us tonight,” Aldridge said. “We let a good opportunity slip away.”

Cleveland lost four of its previous five games by 20-plus points but dominated for three quarters.

The Cavaliers built a 10-point lead in the second while shooting 47 percent from the field.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich kept his postgame comments brief, speaking for about 16 seconds.

“Cleveland played for 48, we played for 24,” Popovich said. “That’s the bottom line.”

TIP-INS

Spurs assistant coach Tim Duncan missed the game due to illness. Fellow assistant Mitch Johnson took Duncan’s spot on the front row of the bench alongside Popovich and assistants Becky Hammon and Will Hardy.

DeRozan was assessed a technical foul at the close of the first half for chucking the ball high over the backboard from the opposite lane. He appeared frustrated after the Cavaliers scored with 1.1 seconds left in the second quarter after rebounding a missed 3-pointer.

The Spurs play the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night in Mexico City.


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