The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 3, 2013

Irving’s 35 pace Cavs against Thunder

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving wasn’t just interested. He was incredible.

With one shot better than his last, Irving scored 35 points, including 13 in the final 2:52, as the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110 on Saturday.

One night after saying he was “disinterested” during a loss in Detroit, Irving was simply spectacular down the stretch. He single-handedly closed out one of the NBA’s best teams, making his last five shots and showing why he’s an All-Star at age 20. Irving’s biggest bucket was a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to make it 113-108.

“He’s a killer,” said newly acquired Cavs forward Marreese Speights, who added 21 points. “I knew a little about him, I didn’t know THAT.”

Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 28 for the Thunder, who came in 35-11 and with the league’s best road record. Durant left briefly in the third quarter with an injured rib, but returned and scored 13 in the fourth.

However, it wasn’t enough to offset Irving, who sent the Thunder home with a loss.

“He’s one of the best in the business,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Give him a lot of credit.”

Tristan Thompson added 12 rebounds and C.J. Miles scored 16 for the Cavs, who had played poorly in consecutive losses this week to Golden State and Detroit.

Irving was so frustrated with the Cavs’ lackluster effort on Friday night against the Pistons that afterward he admitted to not being as involved as he should have been. Before facing the Thunder, he promised it would never happen again and the reigning rookie of the year more than kept his word.

“I figured he’d be a lot more focused — and he was,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “He’s a closer. That’s exactly what he did.”

With the Cavs trailing 101-100, Irving, who sat out the first 6:12 of the fourth, drew a foul and hit two free throws. On Cleveland’s next possession, he drove and dropped a layup to make it 104-101. Durant’s two free throws brought the Thunder within one, but Irving, dribbling between his legs and around Oklahoma City’s defenders, hit a floater from the baseline.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014

  • Aggie’s QB Chuckie Keeton talk dominates Mountain West media day

    LAS VEGAS — Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton got his junior season off to a superb start, only to have it derailed by a knee injury in Game 6....

    July 24, 2014

  • Heavily favored U.S. group faces off against world’s best female golfers

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The inaugural International Crown is unique for what it isn’t. Thirty-two elite players from eight countries will compete at Caves Valley Golf Club to determine which nation has the best women’s players in the world. ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Weir, DeLaet attempt to end 60-year Open drought

    MONTREAL — Mike Weir was well aware that it has been 60 years since a Canadian won the Canadian Open....

    July 24, 2014

  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014