The Cavaliers desperately needed a win on the road. They had lost their first six road games on the season and lost three in a row overall. It was a tough matchup on the second night of a back-to-back, but Cleveland put together a solid game and pulled out the win in overtime, 103-96.
Kyrie Irving had a huge game with 41 points and received some very kind words from head coach Mike Brown following the win.
"Kyrie was terrific in the huddles. He showed some true leadership throughout the course of the game when we were down. We were down, I don't know, 15, something like that in the first half and if he had a microphone on him in the huddle, everybody would be able to appreciate the way he kept everybody into it."
There were some big questions about the chemistry of this Cavs team following reports about a contentious players only meeting so it's especially nice to see Kyrie step up like this.
"Whatever needed to be said at that time, he was saying the right things. We're down 15 and we could have easily quit. We were kind of discombobulated... Kyrie just stayed with it. All of our guys stayed with it. He stayed with it vocally and then you could just feel his presence."
Of course, I have to mention Matthew Dellavedova. He unexpected got some extended minutes in this game and Brown spoke about what he saw from Dellavedova.
"We just felt like we wanted to throw him out there. He's a tough son of a gun and he does what he does. He plays defense the right way. He was relentless. I don't know if I've ever seen a guy go 1-5 from the field with six rebounds and two assists in 30 plus minutes, and impact the game the way he did."
Kyrie had a big game and really came to life in overtime. He hit a lot of open jumpers and much of that has to do with the fact that he wasn't forced to create them off the dribble.
"Yea. I couldn't have done it without my teammates. They were just setting me up, putting me in positions to be aggressive and knock down shots. They were looking for me."
It's great to hear that Kyrie is stepping up as a leader and giving his teammates credit when they deserve it. I'm not sure if he actually believes this or not, but it's also good to see that he continues to preach the importance of the defensive end.
"Just telling them that our offensive game will take care of itself throughout the game starting on the defensive end."
Jack hasn't been great on the court, but it's clear that he is going to have a positive impact in the locker room. He talked about the progress that this team has made and how they're starting to come together as a team.
"I think as time goes on, I think you gradually get better. As soon as training camp starts everybody has the same idea in mind. It takes time to get that trust, that chemistry, and I think these moments where you have to dig deep and get stops down the stretch. I mean we were down early, came all the way back, fought back, grinded out an overtime win. You know it wasn't pretty at all by any stretch of the imagination, and I think you know, these moments, these times, help build character on the basketball team."