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Wrap-Up – If this is the way Saturday nights are going to be for the rest of the season, it’s going to be a really fun next few months.
For the second straight Saturday, the Wine and Gold played bonus basketball to get a win. And again, it was Kyrie Irving’s offensive fireworks that pushed them over the top. The difference this week was that the Cavaliers were earning their first road win of the campaign – overcoming a 15-point deficit to take the dramatic 103-96 victory over the Wizards in D.C.
Kyrie scored nine of his career-high-tying 41 points in the extra-session, going 14-for-28 from the floor on the night. Tristan Thompson doubled-up for the fifth time in his last six outings, finishing with a dozen boards and 15 points, two of which came off a huge put-back dunk late in regulation to put Cleveland up by a point. Jarrett Jack came off the bench to net 13 points and four assists and Earl Clark was hot from beyond the arc again, going 3-for-4 from long distance for 11 points. Andrew Bynum rejoined the club and the starting lineup – finishing with six points, three boards and a block.
Matthew Dellavedova got his longest run of the season and had a nice night – allowing Kyrie to play off the ball, grabbing six big boards and making the defensive play of the night late in regulation, stealing the ball from John Wall to prevent Washington from taking a two-possession lead after Kyrie was stripped on the other end.
Turning Point – The high drama took place late on Saturday night, but the complexion of the game changed with just over two minutes to play in the first half. The Cavaliers were trailing by 15 points and shooting just 27 percent from the floor when they got three straight stops and went on a 10-1 run, keyed by Kyrie and C.J. Miles. Irving stayed hot and canned three straight three-pointers to get Cleveland to within five headed into halftime.
Game Ball – Kyrie Irving – There’s something about the masked man. Irving established his career high at Madison Square Garden in his first go-round with the protective mask and tied it one night after donning it again this year. On Saturday night, Cleveland’s All-Star guard was 14-of-28 from the floor, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 9-of-9 from the stripe. He added five assists and a pair of steals, including a pick of Glen Rice that led to a layup, keying Cleveland’s big second-quarter run.
By the Numbers – .857 … Earl Clark’s three-point percentage over the previous two games – going 6-for-7 from long-distance since being re-inserted into the starting lineup.
Up Next – After working overtime in Washington, the Cavaliers get a three-day respite, welcoming the Wizards to The Q when they return to action on Wednesday. (There were some words exchanged at the end of Saturday’s win which could make for an interesting affair in Cleveland.) Following the rematch with Washington, the Cavs get back on the road – taking on the Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday night and Spurs in San Antonio on Saturday.