Irving scores 33, lifts Cavs over Bobcats 106-104
CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-104 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
Irving had 14 of his team’s final 16 points and 26 points in the second half as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Irving was 10 of 21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws while scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
Tristan Thompson added 19 points and C.J. Miles added 18 for the Cavaliers.
Ben Gordon led Charlotte’s second-half charge, finishing with 27 points.
Ramon Sessions added 20 points and Gerald Henderson had 17, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of 20.
The Cavs led by as many as 18 in the third quarter but the Bobcats battled back to take the lead at 91-90 with 4:43 left when Gordon knocked down a step-back jumper and a floater and Sessions hit a pair of free throws.
Irving answered seconds later with a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers the lead back.
He was just getting started.
He knocked down another 3-pointer on the next possession and put his finger to his lip to silence the crowd.
The Bobcats rallied and Henderson tied the game with a turnaround jumper in the lane with 16 seconds left.
That set up Cleveland’s final possession where Irving drove from the top of the key against rookie Jeffery Taylor, and made the jumper with a second remaining as his teammates congratulated him.
Henderson got a good look on the ensuing inbounds play, but his desperation 3-pointer hit the rim and fell away.
Irving was 7 of 13 in the second half from the field.
The Bobcats came in looking for their first two-game win streak since Nov. 21 after snapping an 18-game losing streak Monday night with a 91-81 win against the Chicago Bulls.
Charlotte committed 10 turnovers in the first half, leading to eight Cavaliers points and fell behind 62-48 at the break.
The Cavaliers, led by 16 points by Miles, came out hot shooting 59 percent from the field and led by as many as 17 in the first half.
NOTES: Charlotte forward Tyrus Thomas returned after missing the past 23 games with a left calf strain. He played 12 minutes and scored four points. … The Cavaliers only played eight players and Charlotte’s bench outscored Cleveland’s 59-19.
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