Following the San Antonio Spurs’ 99-95 win Thursday night against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James paid tribute to Tim Duncan with a sweet message written on his Instagram page.

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James finished with 22 points and seven boards, but San Antonio—led by Kawhi Leonard and his all-around brilliance—won their 10th in a row and remain undefeated on their home floor.

The Cavs’ eight-game winning streak ran into the merciless buzzsaw that is the Spurs.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

The simple reality is no one from the East is in the Cavs’ class. The disparity is even greater than last season. Few teams in the league can match the Cavs in talent and they’re all in the West. The Warriors and Spurs certainly, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers perhaps in a tier below. […] The Cavs have now played the West’s elite twice and lost them both. (They do get points, however, for a very good win against the Thunder at home when they didn’t have Kyrie Irving).

 

As we sit here today, the Thunder or Clippers in the Finals certainly feels like at least a mild upset. Focusing on the West’s elite, the Cavs can leave AT&T Center believing they could’ve won had they taken care of the ball a little better and moved it more (they’d be right), but they also have to depart knowing they’re 0-2 right now against the only teams that matter in the big picture. Even if they don’t want to think about it. […] “Not thinking about it in terms of the two best teams in the West because we’ve got to think about (Friday) and about next week before we start thinking about meeting them later in the year and home court,” coach David Blatt said. “We came, we competed and we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

 

“You’re able to do certain things against other teams that you’re not able to do versus the Spurs or the Golden States and the better teams in our league,” LeBron James said. “Obviously, it’s very tough to kind of prepare in a regular-season game how you would if it was a playoff matchup. But they did a good job of taking us out of some of our sets, but we also had some really good looks that didn’t go down for us.” […] Asked if he’s concerned at all that the Cavs are 0-2 against the West’s elite, Irving said no. “They have to come to our home,” Irving said. “We’ll see what happens.”