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Wrap-Up – For 43 minutes and 14 seconds, the Wine and Gold put together their best road effort of the season. But the closing moments were what mattered most as the Cavaliers saw New Orleans outscore them, 23-7, in the final five minutes to steal the 104-100 win on Friday night in the Big Easy.
Kyrie Irving scored nine of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, going 9-for-22 from the floor overall. Jarrett Jack also came up big in the fourth – netting 11 of his 19 points in the final period. Dion Waiters did his damage early, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the second quarter, and all of his points in the first half. Tristan Thompson followed up with 12 points and eight boards and Earl Clark stayed strong, coming off the bench to go 4-for-6 from the floor – including 3-of-5 from long-distance – for 11 points.
The Cavaliers shot 53 percent from the floor and held New Orleans to 41 percent and brought some excellent effort and energy for most of the night. But Cleveland was dominated on the fast break, 23-2, and on second chance points, 25-8. The Cavaliers also committed 20 turnovers that led to 21 Pelicans points.
Turning Point –When Earl Clark canned a three-pointer with 4:46 to play, capping a 9-2 Cavaliers run and giving Cleveland a dozen-point lead, it looked like the Wine and Gold would get their second road win of the season. But New Orleans came out of a timeout and went on a 14-2 run that tied the game at 95 with 1:29 to play. The Cavs nearly tied the affair with 29.3 to play, but Anthony Davis knocked the ball loose from Kyrie Irving and the Pelicans hit their final four free throws to seal the deal.
Game Ball – Jarrett Jack – The eight-year veteran, who was once traded by New Orleans, came up big off the bench on Friday night, going 9-of-13 from the floor – including a buzzer-beater after slicing through New Orleans’ defense to end the first half. Jack, who also handed out four helpers, notched nine of his 19 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.
By the Numbers – 56 … points for the Cavaliers’ reserves on Friday night. The Cavaliers bench has now outscored its opponents’ second unit in 11 of their first 13 games. Cleveland featured three bench players in double-figures against New Orleans.
Quotable – Head Coach Mike Brown, on the self-inflicted wounds that cost the Cavs Friday night’s game …
”On the road you have 20 turnovers for 21 points, that’s tough. You couple that with 19 offensive rebounds and 25 second chance points, then you add 23 fast break points, that’s 69 points just in stuff that you can control by getting back quick, boxing out and being smart with the basketball.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers have just two games over the next five nights, but they’re against the league’s Conference Champions in ascending order. On Saturday, Cleveland completes the weekend back-to-back with a tough matchup in San Antonio with the Spurs. The Cavs get three days off to prepare for Thanksgiving Eve, when LeBron James and the NBA Champion Heat roll into The Q. The Cavaliers travel to Boston on Friday and return home for a rematch with the Bulls in Cleveland on Saturday.