Notebook: Cavaliers 93, Trail Blazers 88

Posted Jan 17, 2013 1:58 AM

By Kerry Eggers, for

THE FACTS: Kyrie Irving scored 31 points and Cleveland held off a late Portland rally to win 93-88 Wednesday night at the Rose Garden. Irving scored eight straight points down the stretch as the Cavaliers (10-31) won after losing their first three games on this five-game road trip. Tristan Thompson added 19 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland.

Nicolas Batum led five starters in double figures with 23 points for Portland (20-19), which lost its fourth straight game. Batum had 12 rebounds but also nine turnovers.

QUOTABLE: "I like him aggressive, period. He's trying to figure out how to be an aggressive player for us and still get his guys involved. When he's aggressive, he's pushing the ball and he's in attack mode. Our guys feed off of that as well."
-- Cleveland coach Byron Scott on Irving

THE STAT: Cleveland won despite shooting .386 from the field and .235 from 3-point range and getting hammered 54-40 on the boards. The Cavaliers enjoyed a whopping advantage in points in the paint (42-26) and had only eight turnovers to 19 for the Blazers.

TURNING POINT: After Portland went ahead 86-85, the Cavaliers outscored them 8-2 the rest of the way, the Blazers missing their final four shots from the field.

QUOTABLE II: "They played harder than us, just outplayed us. No excuses. They played better than us for a half, and we couldn't get out of the hole."
-- Blazers' Wesley Matthews

HOT: Irving was on fire early, making 6-for-7, mostly on drives to the basket.

NOT: Portland's bench combined to make 2-for-18 shots and scored seven points.

GOOD MOVE: Scott used 6-foot-6 small forward C.J. Miles to defend Portland's 6-foot-3 Damian Lillard much of the way. The Blazers' rookie point guard didn't score his first field goal until early in the fourth quarter and finished with 13 points on 3-for-9 shooting.

BAD MOVE: With Portland trailing 87-86 inside the final minute, LaMarcus Aldridge had the ball on the block with a chance to launch a short jump hook. He attempted a pass to teammate J.J. Hickson that went out of bounds for a turnover, the beginning of the end for the Blazers.

QUOTABLE III: "If you kill the head of the snake, the rest of the body dies. We have to do something to disrupt him as much as possible."
-- Byron Scott

NOTABLE: Portland shot .392 from the field -- its fourth straight game below 40 percent.

UP NEXT: For the Cavaliers, Saturday @ Utah, Tuesday vs. Boston, Thursday vs. Indiana. For the Trail Blazers, Saturday vs. Milwaukee, Monday vs. Washington, Wednesday vs. Indiana.