Tim Duncan registered 30 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as the San Antonio Spurs held off a feisty Cleveland Cavaliers squad, 119-113, on Saturday at AT&T Center.
Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili each added double-doubles as well, with Leonard posting 24 points and 13 rebounds and Ginobili tallying 14 points with 10 assists for the Spurs, who improved to 2-0 on their four-game homestand.
Despite missing their top scorer, Kyrie Irving, the Cavs went toe-to-toe with the Western Conference's top squad for four quarters, but wilted in the final minutes.
"I think they're the best team in the league," said Cleveland coach Byron Scott. "I don't know if they're going to win it. They have the best talent and the best coach, so they have a great shot at winning another championship."
Wayne Ellington scored a team-leading 21 points and Marreese Speights added 19 and seven rebounds, but Cleveland lost its seventh in a row to San Antonio. Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters each scored 15 in the setback.
In a fourth quarter that featured six lead changes, the Cavaliers went ahead for the last time at 103-102 on a driving score by Ellington.
Leonard quickly put the Spurs back in front with a triple from the right wing, and after a pair of Danny Green free throws, Ginobili fed Duncan for a vicious one-handed slam and a 109-103 edge with 3:35 remaining.
"We're moving the ball into the post a little more. That's where I'm a little more effective," said Duncan. "Manu (Ginobili) did an awesome job tonight of feeding me in the post. I got a couple of good layups off of that."
The Spurs kept at least a six-point spread until Shaun Livington's score underneath brought the Cavs to within 113-109, but they never came any closer over the final 1 1/2 minutes.
San Antonio led, 34-30, after the first, but Cleveland was on top by seven after Waiters finished off a 12-5 push with a layup just past the midway point of the second.
Ginobili, however, scored eight points in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the half, with his pull up 3-pointer in the waning seconds giving the Spurs a 66-61 lead at the break.
The Spurs led by as many as nine in the third before the Cavs were able to reduce their deficit to 91-90 by the end of the quarter.