And take over is exactly what he did. Kyrie Irving scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and led a furious comeback against the Pistons. In a game that they once trailed by 17, the Cavaliers pulled off another ridiculous come from behind win and beat Detroit 101-100 to move to 13-17 on the season.
Cavs Leaders: Points: Jamison, 32; Rebounds: Gee, 11; Assists: Irving, 8
First quarter: Woo, that was fun. Cavs shot the lights out and dropped 30 points. As I noted while it was happening, many of those points were on made jumpers. Naturally, that percentage comes down and they regress to the mean (spoiler alert).
Second quarter: *fart noise* Awful garbage. The Cavs scored 14 points in the quarter and were outscored by 12 points. It was bad. Real bad.
Third quarter: It was kind of a blur, honestly. I just watched the game and I can't remember all that much from the third quarter. It was pretty back and forth and the two teams matched each other, scoring 22 points each.
Kyrie went supernova. He took over. Alonzo Gee helped, but Ky completely dominated for a five minute stretch. He made some unreal moves in the paint, drained big three pointers, and had an absolutely ridiculous behind the back pass to Gee for the crush. When it came time for the Pistons to foul to extend the game, they put Irving on the line and he swished them both. Let me remind you that he is 19 years old. He's nineteen.
Byron Scott's rotations continue to baffle me at times. Why the hell did Ryan Hollins play 20 minutes while Samardo Samuels played zero? Tristan Thompson played as many minutes as Hollins. This needs to change. Play Tristan Thompson and never let Hollins touch the floor. Easy.
Manny Harris didn't get in the game, but that's not really a big deal. He hasn't practiced with the team and he got called up yesterday. I could see Scott using him tomorrow in the second night of a back-to-back because he has fresh legs.
Semih Erden got a cut right above his eye and had to go to the locker room for four stitches. He would return to the game, but clearly something wasn't right, because he played just 16 minutes. Gee also left with an injury. He got smacked in the face and had a bloody nose. It ended up just being a contusion and he returned. Gee then proceeded to be super awesome and grab 11 rebounds and score 16 points. I continue to love what I see from Alonzo.
Antawn Jamison was en fuego. He played really really well. He shot the lights out for much of the game and singlehandedly kept the Cavs in this game while they derp'd around for the first three quarters. He finished with a game high 32 points and grabbed 10 boards for the double-double. The most important stat, however, is that he scored his points on 11-22 shooting. Yay, efficiency!
Fear The Sword's Player Of The Game:
Per Jason Lloyd: BScott: "Even when we’re down in the 4th qtr, we still have a belief that if there’s still time on the clock, we have a chance to come back"
That's how much faith Byron Scott has in his 19 year old (!!!) rookie point guard. Irving really did not play well for much of the game, but he stepped up when it mattered the most. He had 6 turnovers, wasn't attacking the basket, and couldn't really get his shots to fall. Then, the fourth quarter came and Irving lit up the Pistons for 17 points and dragged the Cavs back into the game. I continue to be dumbfounded by how much confidence he has. He embraces the big moment and routinely delivers. Guys, I think we've got our franchise player.
Irving's final line: 25 points on 8-15 shooting (3-4 from three), 8 assists (6 TO), 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks.