clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Final Score: Kyrie Irving's big fourth quarter picks up Cavs in 97-84 victory

The Cavs played perplexing basketball, but got the win.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

20 turnovers. Matthew Dellavedova played a ton of minutes, and hit some big threes, and overdribbled a few times and was overmatched defensively for nearly the entire night. LeBron James had 18 points on 17 shots. He handed out 11 assists while contributing six of the turnovers. Shawn Marion, and, at times LeBron, embodied chill mode. The Cavs led by 12 at halftime. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love watched the lead slip away from the bench at the end of the third quarter.

It was a weird game. It was one the Cavs won by 13 points. I'm not sure how much you can take from a game like this. The Philadelphia 76ers aren't good, but they work hard, have a decent defense, and run good offensive sets. The Cavs lost 50-50 balls all night. Their passes had bad timing in part because their movement was sluggish. Sometimes they were just careless with the ball.

And then Kyrie Irving stepped up to the plate. He too turned the ball over five times, but he scored efficiently, finishing with 24 points on 16 shots. He hit threes, he made 76ers defenders look silly off the dribble. And then, with the Cavs clinging to a two possession lead, and with Cavs fans at their wits' end with Delly, the Australian responded by hitting a few open threes.

There's something dangerous about the Cavs realizing with games against the 76ers and Timberwolves that their best isn't necessary to win these games. I didn't love everything I saw from David Blatt's rotations. Tristan Thompson played nine minutes in the first half, and didn't check into the game until the last minute of the third. And then he somehow got to 21 minutes. Mozgov, who had clearly been playing well with the starters, was then left with Delly, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Shawn Marion for the end of the third. Once he was subbed out, we didn't see him again. Just a weird game.

Smith had himself a very nice third quarter and provided offense when the Cavs weren't getting it elsewhere. Shumpert played perhaps his best game as a Cav, finishing with 11 points on just four shots. Neither got serious minutes in the fourth quarter. Kevin Love had the team's best +/- and didn't attempt a shot in the second half. He finished 1 of 7, and wasn't a factor offensively. He worked hard and grabbed himself 15 rebounds. I thought his energy in the first half was great.

Aside from Kyrie heroics and the fact that the final score makes it look like a blowout, I'd like to forget this game. The Cavs have finished their five games in seven nights stretch with five wins, and now have won 11 in a row. They are off until Thursday when the Los Angeles Clippers, playing elite basketball, come to town.