Cavs Pull Away Late for Third Straight

Bench, Irving's Big Fourth Pave the Way Over Houston
Ramon Sessions
Ramon Sessions led the Cavs bench with 15 points in Sunday's win.
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images
The cure for a six-game losing streak is finally becoming apparent to the Cavaliers: just line up some Western Conference playoff teams to beat.

After impressively topping the Nuggets and Thunder out West last week, the Cavaliers brought their mojo home – pulling away from the Rockets, 118-107, on Sunday evening at The Q.

“It was good to see us bring that intensity and focus back home like we had the last couple of games on the road,” praised Coach Scott. “Like we continue to say, as long as we play hard and play with that type of effort and intensity, we give ourselves a chance to win basketball games.”

The Cavaliers came into the third quarter trailing by three, 84-81, but Ramon Sessions’ three-pointer early in the period gave Cleveland the lead back and, as he’s done all season, Kyrie Irving took over to close it out – scoring 16 of his 21 points in the fourth.

In that decisive final quarter, Irving went 3-for-4 from the floor and 9-of-9 from the stripe.

Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 28 points, going 8-for-16 from the floor – including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Jamison was also perfect from the free throw line, as the Cavaliers shot 81 percent from the stripe, with Jamison, Irving and Sessions combining to 23-for-23.

Alonzo Gee rounded out the starters in double-figures with 11 points. Instead, it was the Cavaliers’ second unit that carried much of the scoring load.

Overall, Cleveland’s bench tallied 49 points – with every reserve grabbing at least four boards and Sessions leading the squad with seven assists.

Sessions finished with 15 points, canning both three-pointers he attempted and going 4-of-8 from the floor overall. Daniel Gibson and Samardo Samuels pitched in with 11 points apiece, with Omri Casspi adding eight points and five boards.

“Our job is to go in there and help and give the first unit a break,” said Samuels. “We have to go in there with energy. We’ve been trying; all of us, with (Ramon Sessions) being our leader for the second unit and doing a better job.”

The Cavaliers scored 30 points in the first quarter and, once Irving got heated up, 37 in the fourth. The 118 points were the most scored by the Wine and Gold this season.

Cleveland will try to make it four straight on Tuesday night when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to The Q on Tuesday night. It won’t be easy, as the Raptors have already topped the Cavaliers twice this season.

  • Cleveland’s three-game winning streak is the longest this season and their first three-game run streak since November 5-9, 2010.

  • As they continue to heal from last week’s high school shooting, the Cavaliers provided tickets to over 4,000 Chardon students, their families and first responders Sunday night’s game.

  • Last season, the Cavaliers struggled mightily in Sunday games – going 0-for-12 to start the week. This year, they’re already 4-1.

  • The last time the Wine and Gold won three or more straight games against the Western teams was in December, 2009 – taking four straight over the Suns, Kings, Lakers and Rockets.

  • As much as a 7-3 individual can fly under the radar, Zyrunas Ilgauskas – who was in attendance on Sunday night – did just that.

  • In the postgame locker room, several Cavaliers kept an eye on ESPN’s Selection Sunday. Players with a vested interest in this year’s NCAA Tournament include Antawn Jamison (UNC), Alonzo Gee (Alabama), Daniel Gibson and Tristan Thompson (Texas), Kyrie Irving (Duke), Samardo Samuels (Louisville).