Cavs - Thunder Recap
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers stayed with OKC through three quarters, but the Thunder pulled away in the final period, sending the Cavs to their third straight loss – 106-91 – on Sunday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Kyrie Irving led the Wine and Gold with 20 points and Alonzo Gee added 18, but aside from Daniel Gibson’s 16-point performance, got little production off the bench in the loss.
Turning Point – Ending quarters on the road is critical and that proved true on Sunday. With the Cavs within striking distance – 76-73 – with just 3.7 seconds remaining in the third period, Russell Westbrook drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer. With the sold-out crowd buzzing, Westbrook canned two more treys, putting the Thunder up a dozen and essentially putting the game on ice.
Game Ball – Daniel Gibson One again, Boobie gets the game ball for being the only member of the second unit to consistently keep Cleveland in the game. The seventh-year guard from Texas went 6-of-12 from the field on Sunday. The rest of Byron Scott’s bench was a combined 4-for-18.
By the Numbers – 23.3 … points per game Kyrie Irving is averaging through the first five games of the six-game roadie.
Quotable – Head Coach Byron Scott, summing up the Wine and Gold’s biggest issue through the first five games of the trip …
“The biggest thing I’m looking for is for somebody besides Boobie Gibson to step up off the bench. Boobie’s been great and I know we’re missing Tyler. But we need somebody to step up.”
Seen and Heard – There are several things unique about OKC’s arena. They’re one of just two arenas in the league (New Orleans is the other) with an opening prayer before the National Anthem. And their fans don’t sit until the Thunder have scored their first points of the game. Less impressive is a fat, furry, shirtless fan who wears a wrestling mask and suspenders and tries to distract opponents shooting free throws. On Sunday, painted across his big gut, was “Hate Shirt: Love OKC.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers close out their six-game road trip with the franchise’s first visit to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn where they’ll face Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the Nets.