Kyrie Irving For the Win!

February 16, 2013
Kyrie Irving

There’s a secret to beating Kyrie Irving: Get him early.

Opponents better get Kyrie early, because once money time rolls around – whether it’s the fourth quarter of a regular season game or the second half of the Rising Stars Challenge or the final round of the Three-Point Shootout – the kid is absolutely deadly.

The Cavaliers up-and-coming superstar took home some more All-Star hardware on Saturday night, topping San Antonio’s Matt Bonner in the final round of the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout – finishing two shy of the all-time record with 23 points for the win.

“I felt like I was a darkhorse in this competition,” said the former No. 1 overall pick. “I just want to go out there and prove that I was one of the premiere shooters out here with all these guys – Steve Novak and Matt Bonner. I never thought I’d beat those guys.”

Kyrie becomes the second Cavalier to win the Three-Point Shootout – following in the footsteps of another prolific point guard, Mark Price, who won it in back-to-back seasons in 1993 and ’94.

Irving finished with a solid 19-point effort in Round 1 – again starting out slow and warming up as he went. He had just five points after his first two racks, but canned seven of his last 10 shots, sinking the final money ball to advance to Round 2 against Bonner.

Once the Shootout advanced to the second round, those who’ve watched Kyrie in the clutch through his first season-and-a-half sensed that he would put it away. And it didn’t take him long to affirm that.

In the final round, Kyrie missed just one of his first 18 shots and proceeded to close out the competition after that. Bonner did well, netting 20 points in his final go-round, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Wine and Gold’s 20-year-old sophomore from bringing another All-Star trophy back to Cleveland.

On Sunday night, Kryie suits up for the Eastern Conference in the 62nd All-Star Game. Winning top honors in that game would be a tall order. But after what he’s shown so far, it’d be tough to bet against him.

“Every award and everything I do, the All-Star Weekend is dedicated to the Cavaliers organization, trying to be a great representative for our team,” concluded Irving.