The sizzling San Antonio Spurs shoot for their 10th consecutive win Saturday when they entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Alamo City.
Tim Duncan became the Spurs' all-time NBA scoring leader with 19 points on Friday, while Tony Parker added 24 points and seven assists to help San Antonio defeat Utah, 94-82, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Duncan, who became the franchise's centerpiece after being selected first overall in the 1997 draft, needed only 13 points to pass David Robinson. Robinson, who played alongside Duncan for his final six seasons, recorded 20,790 points in 987 games for the Spurs. Duncan also played in his 988th game to pass Robinson for the team record, and pulled down 14 rebounds.
"It was a great win for us. It was not particularly pretty, kind of ups and down but great defensively and great to get that kind of milestone behind me," Duncan said. "It means a whole lot. More than anything it's a bragging right. I'm going to stick it to him a little bit. He started my career with me. It's been a long career so far. It's just great."
George Gervin is the franchise's all-time scoring leader, including ABA games, with 23,602 points.
Manu Ginobili added 15 points while DeJuan Blair and Richard Jefferson each had 11 for the red-hot Spurs, who are off to the best start in franchise history at 10-1 and are riding their longest winning streak since taking 11 straight from Feb. 11-March 6, 2008.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, opened up a tough three-game road trip last night by falling to a 10-1 Hornets team in New Orleans. David West scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that one as the Hornets built a big lead early before holding on for a 108-101 win.
Antawn Jamison scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Cleveland, which had a three-game win streak against the Hornets snapped. Jamison, by making three three-pointers, also became the third player in NBA history to record 7,000 rebounds, 900 three-pointers and 17,000 total points, joining Scottie Pippen and Dirk Nowitzki.
Friday also marked the return of former Cavs head coach Byron Scott to the Big Easy. Scott served as the head coach in New Orleans from 2004-09. He was fired last season after the club got off to a 3-6 start last season.
"I am very proud of our guys," Scott said. I thought we showed a lot of character tonight. We showed a lot of fight. We got down by 18 or 19 and we didn't mail it in. We kept playing and got it to a point in time that if we get a couple of breaks here and there we had an opportunity."
The Cavs, who will also visit Indiana on their trek, have won seven of nine over the Spurs but that was with superstar LeBron James, who is now with Miami.