Kyrie, Cavs Rally for Third Straight

January 26, 2013
Tristan Thompson

Wrap-Up – You can’t be much hotter than Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers have been since returning from their West Coast trip last weekend. On Saturday night in Toronto, Kyrie capped a monster week, scoring 12 fourth-quarter points, including a deep three-pointer with 0.7 seconds to play to give the Wine and Gold the thrilling 99-98 win – their third straight.

With the Raptors leading by a deuce, 98-96, Irving walked the ball calmly up the court. When Toronto’s Alan Anderson sagged off him to guard against the drive, the 20-year-old All-Star raised from 28-feet and ripped the trey that gave Cleveland its third consecutive win – capping an 11-point fourth-quarter comeback.

Kyrie finished with a game-high 32 points, going an even 13-for-26 from the floor – including 3-of-5 from long-distance – adding five assists and four boards. In his Canadian homecoming, Tristan Thompson added 14 points and eight boards.

And for the second straight night, the Cavaliers’ bench – specifically their two newly acquired players – came up big in a victory. Marreese Speights was 7-for-13 from the floor for 17 points and Wayne Ellington was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc for 12 points of his own.

Turning Point – In an almost carbon copy of Friday night’s win, the Cavaliers were down nine after three quarters and 11 early in the fourth. But behind their second unit – including two buckets by Speights and a three-pointer from Ellington – the Wine and Gold went on a 12-2 run. Tristan Thompson’s tip gave the Cavaliers a brief lead, but they were in striking distance for the rest of the quarter – when Kyrie struck.

Game BallKyrie Irving – It’s safe to say Kyrie deserves a nice Sunday off. The Cavaliers young star netted 40 points in a win over Boston on Tuesday, was named to the All-Star Game and won the GCSA’s Pro Athlete of the Year on Thursday and dropped 35 on the Bucks in win this Friday. To put a bow on his week, he canned the game-winner and led all scorers in the process.

By the Numbers35.7 … Kyrie Irving’s scoring average in the three games since Byron Scott has asked him to be “more aggressive.” In that stretch – all Cavalier wins – he’s shooting 61 percent from the floor, 55 percent from beyond the arc and 95 percent from the stripe.

QuotableCoach Byron Scott, explaining his decision to tell Kyrie to go for the win instead of the tie on Saturday in Toronto …

“It’s just great coaching. That’s all that is.”

Up Next – The Cavaliers return to The Q for a Tuesday night meeting with the Warriors. They face the Pistons in Detroit on Friday night before welcoming Kevin Durant and the reigning Western Conference Champs to Cleveland next Saturday night.