The Cleveland Cavaliers, at the last minute, decided to play their ‘Big Three’ on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. And it didn’t matter, as turnovers and fatigue set in late in the Cavs’ 118-109 loss.
Kyrie Irving lead the Cavs with 28 points to go along with four assists and six turnovers. LeBron James, in a team-high 41 minutes, had 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Kevin Love added 15 points and 12 rebounds and Derrick Williams finished with 12 points off the bench in his debut.
The Cavs, after playing the Thunder close for most of the game, appeared to tire late as Oklahoma City pulled away. With 5:46 left, Irving tied the game at 99 with a layup, but Russell Westbrook score eight straight points. His burst was capped off by a Victor Oladipo basket that gave the Thunder a 10 point with 2:08 to play. Oladipo hit a three with 1:07 left to put the Thunder’s lead back at 10 after the Cavs briefly cut the league back to single digits.
Westbrook finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 26th triple-double of the season. Oladipo scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth and Steven Adams added 20 points and 13 rebounds. With the loss, the Cavs split the season series with the Thunder.
DeAndre Liggins was a late scratch due to a tooth injury, prompting Jordan McRae to get the start at shooting guard. Williams played 22 minutes in his debut, including a long stretch alongside LeBron, Love and Irving. He played most of his minutes at the four spot, but did play some three.