SAN ANTONIO — Darius Garland felt it early. Hours before tipoff.Despite Monday’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs starting earlier than usual — 6 p.m. local time as opposed to 7 p.m. — the Cleveland Cavaliers held morning shootaround at AT&T Center. There was no horseplay. No jokes. No laughter. Everyone was locked in. It was all business. Then, as the Cavs were about to leave for the team hotel near the famed San Antonio Riverwalk, Garland told assistant J.J. Outlaw — the coach responsible for overseeing Garland’s development — that it was going to be a good day.Garland was wrong. It was a great day. The best of his young career, helping the Cavs snap their frustrating five-game losing skid and cruising past the Spurs, 125-101.The second-year point guard scored Cleveland’s first nine points. He was just getting started, finishing with a career-high 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range to go with seven assists in 30 minutes.Garland showed it all. Vision. Ball-handling. Passing. Shooting. There were patented floaters, driving finishes, smooth jumpers and long-range bombs. He wiggled around screens and cooked defenders in isolation, getting anywhere he wanted. He even muscled up on the defensive end, picking up two steals and a block. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sprung traps and tried full-court pressure. He used multiple defenders, some with speed and others with size. The Spurs even shifted to zone a few different times. Nothing worked. Garland had all the answers.It’s exactly what the Cavaliers envisioned nearly two years ago when they made Garland the fifth pick in the 2019 draft, pairing him with Collin Sexton in hopes of building a dynamic young backcourt. While it’s been a slower rise for Garland, nights like Monday show the potential. He’s starting to look every bit the franchise point guard. It’s why teammates call him “DG the PG.”“It’s all in there. We just gotta keep getting it out of him,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff told cleveland.com.Following shootaround, which Bickerstaff ran more like a practice, Garland focused on two areas when discussing the blueprint for victory. The same things he’s harped on all season: First and third quarters.Garland made sure that wasn’t an issue Monday. Aggressive early, he scored 11 of his 37 points in the first quarter. There was no dip in energy from Cleveland at the break this time. Coming out of the locker room with more time on the clock and led by Garland, who poured in 14 more points in the third, the league’s worst third-quarter team erupted for 43 during those dazzling 12 minutes. This time, the Cavs only had to protect a lead rather than fight uphill.“Coming out in the second half, we just had to come with a lot of energy and play the way that we were playing in the first half,” Garland said. “Playing with pace, speed, swinging the ball around, getting open looks. We just kept preaching that throughout the second half. Getting easy looks and a lot of swing-swing passes for 3s. Just went in the hoop tonight.”Sexton chipped in with 22 points, rebounding from a poor shooting start. Isaac Okoro reached double figures as well, tallying 11 points on 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 from deep. Kevin Love, playing his third straight game and remaining on a minute restriction while working his way back from injury, added nine points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes.“I’m going to go back and watch the film. Keep my confidence high. Just show that I can do this on a nightly basis. Keep playing how I’ve been playing,” Garland said. “If shots go, shots go. If not, still have to figure out how to get a win. It’s all about the players on this team, not just me. We all brought it tonight.”So much of the final stretch is about answering questions. What works. What doesn’t. Who belongs. Who doesn’t. Garland keeps showing where he fits — and why the Cavs never stopped believing in him.“I thought he was tremendous tonight,” Bickerstaff said. “We saw his potential in the draft and that’s obviously why we selected him. We believed in his potential. It’s been a difficult start because of his circumstances. But we knew steps were coming. We want him to play with this belief and confidence every single night, because that’s what the point guard and that’s what carriers do. So when he is feeling this way, we want him to harness this, bottle it up and bring it Thursday in Oklahoma City and then the following game, because that’s the potential we see in him.”Bench liftBickerstaff shortened his bench Monday night, going with just four guys while taking Cedi Osman out of the rotation once again. Well, until the game got out of hand and it was time for Brodric Thomas to finish. That adjustment worked. Behind backup center Isaiah Hartenstein and Taurean Prince, the Cavs got 42 points from the reserves.Hartenstein scored 16 points on 7-of-8 from the field to go with 12 rebounds and three assists. Prince chipped in with 14 points and seven boards.Up nextThe Cavs will wrap up their three-game road trip on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.-New Cavs face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Cavaliers-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). 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