Irving, Cavs send stumbling Thunder to third straight defeat

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photo: USA Today Sports
photo: USA Today Sports

Kyrie Irving showed off the late-game heroics on Wednesday that earned him the recent NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy.

Irving scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the final frame, and the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers sent the West-best Oklahoma City Thunder to 0-3 since the All-Star break 114-104.

“I’m going to do anything I can for my team and coach (Mike) Brown as well as this organization,” said Irving, who added nine assists.

“I’m going to compete, leave it all on the line every single game, especially for my teammates. They believe in me.”

Jarrett Jack had a season-high 21 points while Spencer Hawes added 19 for the Cavs (23-36) who used a 42-28 fourth quarter to snap a three-game slide.

League top gun Kevin Durant had 28 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder lost three in a row at home for the first time since 2009. Russell Westbrook scored 24, while Serge Ibaka contributed 16 and 13 boards.

The previously stingy but now porous Thunder defence has yielded an average 114 points in the last three setbacks - nearly 17 more than their season norm.

Durant’s 3-pointer with four and a half minutes put the Thunder ahead, 97-95. It would be their last lead, as the Cavs went on a game-breaking 15-2 run.DPA

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