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Irving, Cavs take down struggling Thunder
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Kyrie Irving scored 35 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 115-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Marreese Speights and Tristan Thompson each recorded double-doubles for Cleveland, which was coming off a loss against Detroit on Friday. Speights, recently acquire in a trade with Memphis, had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Thompson had 11 points and 12 rebounds. C.J. Miles scored 16 points.
"It's amazing what happens when you play with energy," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "That's what we've been looking for every single night. Just play with that type of energy and see what can happen. When you play with that type of energy, good things can happen, and we beat the best team in the league tonight."
Kevin Durant registered 32 points and 11 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 28 points, and Serge Ibaka had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost four of their past seven games.
"It's always concerning when we don't play defense they way we are capable of playing," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Is it going to be the end of the world? No, because we always come back to pride ourselves on what we do and stick with the basic fundamentals; that is guarding ball, helping off the ball and rebounding the ball."
The Thunder led 25-23 after the first quarter and didn't let go of the lead in the second, extending their edge to 57-52 at halftime.
After a three-point play by Westbrook with 7:05 remaining in the third, and down 68-57, Cleveland's Alonzo Gee made a layup to start a 12-4 run, capped off by a three-point shot by Irving.
Durant appeared to hurt his back while defending. He stayed in the game for several minutes before being escorted to the locker room. However, he would come back with 9:55 remaining in the fourth.
Irving would make another three-point jumper in the closing seconds of the third to cut the deficit 78-76. Irving finished the game 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Cleveland tied the game 81-81 early in the fourth, thanks to a long three and a 10-foot shot by C.J. Miles. Speights' 17-foot jumper then gave them a two- point advantage with 9:47 remaining.
Oklahoma City remained close behind and re-took the lead, 101-100 with 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation, thanks to a score by Westbrook.
Irving then made two free throws, followed by a driving layup to give Cleveland a 104-101 edge with 2:31 left, and the Cavaliers never looked back.
Irving scored seven of the game's final nine points, including a three- pointer with 42 seconds left. Durant drove to the basket to get the Thunder to 113-110 with 38 seconds left, but Irving answered back with a 12-foot bank shot to give Cleveland the win.
Irving scored 30 or more points for the fourth time in the past six games ... Irving was perfect from the free-throw line for the second straight game and sixth in the last eight ... The Thunder are 22-6 when Durant and Westbrook each score at least 20 points.
02/03 01:41:09 ET
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