Kyrie Irving explodes for 57 points against the Spurs
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the defending champion Spurs in San Antonio on Thursday night 128-125 in OT. Kyrie Irving was on fire Thursday night scoring a career high and NBA season high 57 points and shot 7/7 from 3-point land. Irving was also 20/32 from the field, snatched 3 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. LeBron James added on 31 points to the Cavs total. James handed out a team high 7 assists and added 5 rebounds. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 31 points followed by Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green with 24 points.
The Spurs were up by 3 with only a couple seconds left and the Cavaliers had the ball. The ball was inbounded to Kyrie Irving and he dribbled, took a few steps and pulled up with 2 guys in his face and drilled the shot to tie the game. Irving had 46 at the end of regulation, but scored 11 points in OT to lead the Cavs to a victory. With this effort by Irving, he set a franchise record for most points scored in a game that was previously set at 56, held by none other than LeBron James.
The Cavaliers looked to be in playoff form on Thursday in San Antonio. It was really encouraging to see that someone other than LeBron could lead the team to victory. Even though LeBron scored 31 points, Irving led the team and opened up opportunities for other players. Irving showed the basketball world that the Cavs are not a 1 man show, but they are a team with 2 guys leading the way. James and Irving will be the key to the Cavs success this year in the playoffs.
Another thing that was different on Thursday was headband-less LeBron James. LeBron’s signature headband has not been on his head the past couple games. He stopped wearing it after the game against Atlanta where he committed 9 turnovers. I don’t really understand why LeBron going without a headband helps, but if it wins games then I am all for it. The Cavaliers are proving to the basketball community that they are a force to reckoned with in the playoffs, but to become a perennial contender, they will need to have significant success this postseason.