March 7, 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers gaurdfKyrie Irving (2) is congratulated by gaurd Daniel Gibson (1) and forward Anthony Parker (18) after scoring the game winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Cavaliers won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
The Cavaliers season was dying, slowly and painfully. The trade deadline was approaching, and a West Coast swing that promised misery and losses was underway. Cleveland entered Denver with a 6 game losing streak, and the Nuggets on a 4 game win streak. The Nuggets also had the night off before this one. Anderson Varejao was hurt. Naturally, the Cavaliers got some late-game Kyrie Irving heroics and stole an awesome win on the road. The lesson for the Nuggets, as we had already learned, is that you simply can't give Mr. Irving a chance late. He will burn you, and he will do it in a cold-blooded manner that leaves you stunned.Three players pretty much kept Cleveland in the game. The aforementioned Kyrie Irving got some help from Antawn Jamison and Alonzo Gee. Irving scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. (I love that man. When does the season start again?) As Jamison said after the game, "He single-handedly won the game for us." On the game-winner, Arron Afflalo was assigned to guard Mr. Irving, and he made what turned out to be a pretty serious mistake. He tried to guard him full-court. Irving pretty casually got by him and kept him a half-step behind as he went the length of the floor. People just don't understand how quick he is. Still, Afflalo's defense led to Irving's shot leaving 4 seconds still on the clock for Ty Lawson, a fast Point Guard in his own right. Irving stayed on him the whole way and forced him into a tough lay-up that he just couldn't convert. Cavaliers win.
Jamison scored 33 points, and Gee had 19. Jamison was terrible defensively, but that type of scoring is pretty nice regardless. I'm just going to assume Gee's game was pretty complete. In Conrad's recap, he said it was one of Gee's best games. At one point in the third quarter while the Cavs were down 72-65, Gee scored 7 straight points to bring the score even.
Irving goes coast-to-coast for the win! (via NBA)