Cavaliers Best Bucks in Overtime

December 20, 2013
Kyrie Irving
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images

Wrap-Up – Recent Cavalier games at Quicken Loans Arena – whether they’re facing the top team in the West or the worst team in the East – have not been for the faint of heart. Three nights after dropping a thriller to the Blazers at The Q, the Wine and Gold bounced back to bounce the Bucks, 114-111, in an overtime nailbiter on Friday night.

In an incredibly tight game, neither team had more than a one-point edge in any of the first four quarters. And it went down to the wire at the end of regulation when – with Milwaukee leading by a deuce – Kyrie Irving drove to the hoop trying to tie the game. As the ball spun out, Tristan Thompson tipped home the game-tying bucket with 1.8 to play. In the extra session, the Wine and Gold drilled four three-pointers and took an early six-point edge. Kyrie Irving canned a pair of free throws to give Cleveland the three-point edge and O.J. Mayo front-rimmed a pair of three-pointers that would have tied the affair.

Irving led everyone with 39 points – going 13-for-25 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the stripe. Jarrett Jack, picking up some of the offensive slack with Dion Waiters (right wrist tendonitis) on the shelf, followed up with 17 points, five assists and four boards. Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 10 points and 15 boards – nine off the offensive glass. CJ Miles netted 15 points, going 3-of-4 from long-distance. And Earl Clark went 4-of-6 from three-point range – canning one big bomb after another – to finish with 14 points.

Turning Point – For the second straight game, the Cavaliers went toe-to-toe for all four quarters (plus) on Friday night. The Bucks outscored Cleveland by one point after one quarter; the Cavs outscored Milwaukee by one in the second quarter. They tied each other in the third and fourth quarters and there were 12 ties and 13 lead-changes overall. The Cavaliers got most of their breathing space in the overtime session. Jarrett Jack’s pull-up jumper and three-pointer each gave Cleveland a six-point advantage in OT. The Bucks would cut it to just a single point with 10.3 to play, but Irving’s free throws sealed the deal.

Game BallEarl Clark – With Dion Waiters out, Irving – who’d been battling the bug for days and almost didn’t feel well enough to play on Friday – knew he’d have to do some of the heavy lifting offensively. But Irving did more than just lead the team in scoring. Kyrie also needed a team-high six assists and also led both squads with a career-high four blocked shots. (He became the first Cavalier guard in team history to net at least 39 points and four swats in a game.)

By the Numbers12 … blocked shots for the Cavaliers on Friday night. They blocked seven shots in the first quarter (three by Bynum). The Wine and Gold have registered double-digit blocked shots in five games this season.

QuotableKyrie Irving, on his teammates giving him a lift on Friday night…

”My teammates were picking me up, so it made the game that much easier. They were just giving me confidence and we were clicking. It was a tough game; it went into overtime, but I was excited just to be out there.”

Up Next – The Cavaliers traveled to Chicago immediately after Friday’s victory to face off against the Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center. They return home to take on their third straight Central Division foe, welcoming the Pistons to The Q for the first time this season on Monday night. The Wine and Gold get Christmas off before welcoming the Atlanta Hawks to Cleveland on the 26th.