San Antonio is looking for its first 10-game winning streak since an 11-game run from March 25-April 14, 2004. The current nine-game road win streak already is a franchise-best.
The Spurs also have dominated the Cavaliers recently, winning four in a row while limiting James to 81 points total.
“We know that Tim is not at his best,” Ginobili said. “He’s still sick, weak. He’s been playing with pain in his foot for a lot of games. We’ve got to step up and take some pressure off him. We did pretty well.”
Ginobili has scored 18.4 points and is shooting 54.2 percent from 3-point range in seven games since returning from a sprained right foot suffered Jan. 20 against the Miami Heat.
“No more impressive than he is every game,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Ginobili. “That’s how he plays. He’s an ultimate warrior and that’s what we see from him night after night.”
James had 33 points Saturday, but the Cavs fell to the short-handed Golden State Warriors 99-91. Cleveland lost for just the second time in 15 games to Golden State, which played without forward Troy Murphy and all but nine minutes without Baron Davis.
Cavs coach Mike Brown said his team seemed to be waiting to LeBron to make something happen.
“We stood around and watched LeBron,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. “We didn’t ever give ourselves a chance to win. We played defense for 10 to 15 seconds on each possession, then they eventually got what they wanted. Offensively, we didn’t execute at all, especially late.”
James has been logging more minutes with Larry Hughes sidelined by a broken finger. He has played all but 12:39 in the last five games.
“I’ll never be disappointed in my team,” James said. “But we were not mentally prepared and took things for granted. We can’t do that.”
Cleveland has just four wins in its last 24 games against San Antonio dating back to Feb. 3, 1994.