July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Cavaliers edge Bobcats as Kyrie Irving caps big fourth quarter with game-winning shot

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyrie Irving feels he’s at his best when the fourth quarter begins.

He certainly was Friday night.

Irving scored 16 of his game-high 33 points in the final period, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to help the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 106-104 and snap a three-game losing streak.

Irving scored 16 of his team’s final 18 points in the fourth quarter.

“I kind of got in a zone and kept it going,” Irving said. “And they kept feeding me.”

With the game tied and 16 seconds left, everyone in the crowd knew who was going to take the last shot for the Cavaliers.

“Those are the moments I kind of live for,” Irving said.

Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap chose to defend Irving with rookie Jeffery Taylor, a 6-foot-7 forward known for his defense. Taylor stayed with him at first, cautiously giving him room before Irving stutter-stepped and pulled back to launch a jumper from the right elbow.

Irving said he didn’t know what move he’d try to make, but when the shot left his hands there was no doubt in his mind it was going in.

“I just read the defense,” Irving said. “He’s taller than me but he won’t stop me from getting where I need to go. I just created space and shot my pull-up.”

Irving finished 10-of-21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws to go along with six assists, five rebounds and a career-high three blocked shots.

Tristan Thompson added 19 points and C.J. Miles added 18 for the Cavaliers.

“He has that look in his eye every fourth quarter,” Miles said of Irving. “In the Brooklyn game he walked into the huddle and told us ‘The fourth quarter is mine.’ What am I going to say, ‘No?’ But he’s been a fourth-quarter guy since he’s been in the league. He has a mental thing where he has another level, another gear which helps him make big shots.”

Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson said it’s difficult to stop Irving in that type of game-winning situation.

“It’s tough because you never know what shot he is going to take,” Henderson said. “He can make any shot. So, you know how good he is off the dribble so you want to give him a little cushion, but you can’t really give him that much because you know he can shoot the lights out of the ball.

“You just have to toy with him and move your feet and guess a little bit and also rely on help from your teammates but he is special. He really is special because he can score in so many ways.”
Ben Gordon led Charlotte’s second-half charge, finishing with 27 points.

Ramon Sessions added 20 points and Henderson had 17, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of 20.

The Cavs led by as many as 18 in the third quarter but the Bobcats battled back to take the lead at 91-90 with 4:43 left when Gordon knocked down a step-back jumper and a floater and Sessions hit a pair of free throws.

Irving answered seconds later with a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers the lead back.

He was just getting started.

He knocked down another 3-pointer on the next possession and put his finger to his lip to silence the crowd.

Cavs 106, Bobcats 104

CLEVELAND (106): Gee 3-7 2-4 8, Thompson 8-10 3-4 19, Zeller 3-8 3-6 9, Irving 10-21 10-10 33, Miles 7-14 0-0 18, Walton 2-6 0-0 4, Waiters 3-6 3-5 9, Livingston 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 39-78 21-29 106.
CHARLOTTE (104): Taylor 5-10 0-0 11, Warrick 1-4 2-2 4, Biyombo 1-2 0-0 2, Walker 4-8 2-4 11, Henderson 6-11 1-2 17, Kidd-Gilchrist 3-10 1-2 7, Sessions 4-11 12-12 20, Haywood 0-0 1-2 1, Thomas 2-6 0-0 4, Gordon 11-20 3-4 27, Adrien 0-0 0-0 0, Diop 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-82 22-28 104.

Cleveland    29    33    24    20    —    106
Charlotte     23    25    26    30    —    104

3-Point Goals—Cleveland 7-16 (Miles 4-9, Irving 3-4, Gee 0-1, Walton 0-2), Charlotte 8-17 (Henderson 4-5, Gordon 2-4, Taylor 1-3, Walker 1-3, Sessions 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Cleveland 47 (Thompson 13), Charlotte 51 (Kidd-Gilchrist 9). Assists—Cleveland 23 (Irving 6), Charlotte 25 (Sessions 6). Total Fouls—Cleveland 22, Charlotte 24. A—15,576 (19,077).

TONIGHT

• WHO: Cleveland vs. Houston
• TIME: 7:30
• WHERE: The Q
• TV/RADIO: FS Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM