It was an evening of a thousand storylines in Cleveland as the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-7) shocked the NBA with an exhilarating double-overtime win against Brooklyn Nets (9-7) with a final score of 147-135.
There was the excitement of new trade acquisitions. There was the awkward return of Kyrie Irving, who remarkably had not played in Cleveland since October 2017. There was ‘The Beard’ in his blinding, neon-orange sneakers struggling early for shot opportunities. But none were bigger than the Cavs and the return of their fearless leader, Collin Sexton, who. just. kept. hanging. around.
Coming off a nagging ankle injury, Sexton demonstrated why he’s this team’s leader playing with energy and hustle and finishing brilliantly with 42 points on too many clutch threes. Sexton scored a blistering 20 straight points for the Cavs down the stretch proving he and the Cavs —when healthy— can hang with the league’s super elite.
It was the all-familiar Kyrie Irving, who came barreling down the court with just seconds left in regulation committing an uncharacteristic offensive foul on Sexton. A foul that was overturned by officials forcing an unfavorable overtime for the Cavs. Cavs struggled, but Sexton answered with an extra-icy three to force a double-overtime for the home team and, from there— the hits just kept coming.
Cavs’ newly-acquired big-man Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince made their debuts for the Wine and Gold tonight both providing impactful minutes. High-flying Allen dazzled down the stretch with a barrage of put-backs, tips, floaters, blocks, dunks and grabs keeping it close all night with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. Prince had an efficient and opportune 17 points making it known he’s come to Cleveland to contribute.
Cedi Osman continued his revived play with 25 points, with a businesslike 4 for 9 from three. Cavs rookie Isaac Okoro struggled to produce offensively but guarded Kyrie well down the stretch to help the Cavs come through victorious. Andre Drummond had a quiet game playing only 26 minutes with 13 points at 7 rebounds.
Nets’ returning star and former Cavalier, Kyrie Irving, looked fresh and feisty after missing 7 games for personal reasons, scoring 37 on 15-28. Kevin Durant turned in a very ‘Durant-like’ stat sheet chipping in 38 points and 12 rebounds. James Harden found out what it’s like to split a sandwich, sacrificing his shots to Nets’ stars, going an underwhelming 6 for 14 with 21 points.
Up Next: The Cavs will face the Nets again at home on Friday. Tip-off at 7:30 p.m. EST.