Casspi, Cavaliers Outduel Orlando in OT
On Monday night, the Wine and Gold took the preseason show on the road – and they even gave their Queens City Cavalier fans an extra-session of basketball.
They also gave the loud Cincinnati crowd a thrilling 114-111 win – with Omri Casspi netting all seven of the Cavaliers’ points in the overtime period.
Jeremy Pargo converted a three-point play to tie the game at 107-apiece with 4.1 remaining in regulation. Orlando’s Glen Davis attempted an 18-footer for the win, but drew front iron, sending the game to OT.
In the overtime session, Orlando took an early lead on Justin Harper’s jumper. But Casspi struck back with a three-pointer to put the Cavs ahead. On the next possession, Casspi put back a Jon Leuer miss to give Cleveland a three-point edge. His final bucket – a soft slam on a nice pass from Leuer – completed his seven-point period and pushed the Cavaliers past the Magic to improve their preseason mark to 3-2.
Kyrie Irving – who came into the contest shooting just 24 percent from the floor – led Cleveland with 22 points, going 5-of-8 from the field and 11-of-11 from the stripe in 26 minutes of action.
“I’m not worried about that young man right now,” said Byron Scott. “I know he’s just trying to get into a rhythm. This is almost about the right time with a couple more preseason games to go and the season being a couple of weeks to go from starting.”
“Not everybody shoots great during preseason,” added Irving. “This is my first true preseason so along with training camp and getting my legs back, I felt good out there. The shots were just falling tonight.”
Irving’s hot start helped jumpstart a Cavaliers offense that’s struggled at times through their first four contests. But on Monday, the Wine and Gold notched 31 points in two separate quarters and shot 47 percent from the floor.
C.J. Miles was almost as effective, but he saved his best for the third period – where he netted 11 of his 17 points, knocking down a triple and a long jumper to give the Wine and Gold a six-point edge heading into the fourth.,
In the final period of regulation, Glen Davis tallied 13 of his game-high 27 points. But he missed his final attempt of the quarter, and the rest was preseason history.
The fourth Cavalier to notch double-figures was Alonzo Gee, who scored 13 points off Byron Scott’s bench – including a three-pointer with just over two minutes to go in regulation that put Cleveland back on top by a deuce.
The Cavs took 13 more free throws than Orlando and out-shot them from beyond the arc.
Cleveland travels to Philadelphia as the exhibition season winds down. They’ll face the Sixers on Wednesday night and return home for a final tune-up six days later against the Pacers at The Q. One week after that, the regular season tips off with a visit from the Wizards.