Notebook: Cavaliers 106, Bobcats 104



Posted Jan 4, 2013 10:59 PM

By Derek S. Smith, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 33 points and sank his fourth career game-winning shot as the Cleveland Cavaliers held off the Charlotte Bobcats Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena for a 106-104 victory. Ben Gordon had 27 off the bench for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of their last 20 contests.

QUOTABLE: "I was just trying to ice the game. I waited until there were five seconds left on the clock and luckily that was enough to make the shot. I felt like I couldn't mess up. It's the confidence that I have in myself and the confidence that my coaches and teammates have in me to give me the ball at the end of games. They confidence I was going to make the shot and I did. It was a great team win for us. These are the type of games we need."

-- Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving

THE STAT: Cleveland (8-26) was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Irving made all six of his attempts and Tristan Thompson, a 61-percent shooter on the season, made his only two tries to hold off the pesky Bobcats (8-24). For the game, Cleveland made 21 of its 29 attempts.

TURNING POINT: Charlotte's Gerald Henderson tied the game at 104-all with 16.0 seconds to play on a hook shot in the lane, and then Cleveland called timeout to advance the ball. There was no doubt whose hands the ball would end up in. The four other Cavs players aligned themselves on the baseline and allowed Irving to match up with Charlotte rookie Jeffery Taylor. Irving calmly dribbled down the clock and rose over Taylor to sink the 12-foot jumper to seal the win.

HOT: Irving scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter including two clutch 3-pointers late in the period. Irving was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line and made 10 of his 21 shots from the field. He added six assists, five rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots. It was his third game of the season with at least 30 points. His three blocked shots were a career best.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: C.J. Miles has stepped his game up of late for Cleveland. The shooting guard had 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting in the win over Charlotte including sinking 4 of his 9 3-pointers. Over the last three games he is averaging 21.0 points and is shooting 50 percent from behind the arc (13-for-26). He has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 16 games.

GOOD MOVE: Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap chose to play the hot hands in the fourth quarter and that meant leaving his leading scorer on the bench. Kemba Walker scored 11 points Friday, but didn't enter the game at all in the final quarter. Instead, Dunlap allowed Gordon and Ramon Sessions to play the entirety of the quarter. The duo sparked a Charlotte comeback and scored 23 of the team's 30 points as Gordon finished with 27 and Sessions had 20. It was the third time in franchise history that a pair of players off the bench scored 20 or more points in the same game.

ROOKIE WATCH: There were a slew of productive games from rookies Friday. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist came off the bench to score seven points, grab nine rebounds and dish out two assists. Taylor stated in place of him and scored 11 points and added two rebounds. For the Cavs, Tyler Zeller had nine points and five rebounds and blocked three shots. Dion Waiters came off the bench to scored nine points in 18 minutes of action.

NOTABLE: Tyrus Thomas returned to the court for the first time since mid-November and scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. ... Gordon is averaging 16.5 points over the last four games. ... Sessions was 12-for-12 from the free-throw line tying the third most free-throw attempts without a miss in franchise history. ... Gerald Henderson had a career-best four 3-point baskets. ... Thompson's 19 points were a season high. He grabbed a game-best 13 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. ... Shaun Livingston had a season-high five assists and tied his season-high with two steals.

UP NEXT: For the Cavaliers, Saturday vs. Houston, Monday @ Chicago, Wednesday vs. Atlanta. For the Bobcats, Sunday @ Detroit, Wednesday vs. Utah, Friday @ Toronto.