Irving scores 31, leads Cavaliers past Thunder, 114-104
Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:15 AM
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) drives past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones (3) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Oklahoma City 114-104 on Wednesday night, giving the Thunder their third straight loss since the All-Star break.
Jarrett Jack scored 21 points, Spencer Hawes scored 19 and Tristan Thompson added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Cleveland shot 14 for 21 from the field in the fourth quarter against the Western Conference-leading Thunder.
Kevin Durant had 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, Russell Westbrook had 24 points and nine assists and Serge Ibaka added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City is 0-3 since Westbrook returned from his latest knee surgery.
In the closing seconds of the first half, Westbrook dribbled as the clock wound down, then pulled up in front of Irving and drained a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 52-51 lead at the break.
The Thunder committed 12 turnovers in the first half, but made up for it by shooting 57 percent from the field. Durant scored 15 points before the break and Westbrook had 13 points and six assists. Irving had 14 points, four assists and three steals at halftime.
The Thunder opened the second half with 3s from Durant and Thabo Sefolosha to take a 58-51 lead. A mid-range jumper by Ibaka stretched Oklahoma City’s lead to 62-53, leading Cavaliers coach Mike Brown to call a timeout.
Cleveland regrouped and cut Oklahoma City’s lead to three on an unusual play. The Cavaliers’ Luol Deng shot a jumper and Nick Collison was called for goaltending and issued a technical foul for grabbing the net. Irving made the free throw to make it a 69-66 game. The Thunder led 76-72 at the end of the period.
Matthew Dellavedova tied the game at 81 with a floater early in the fourth quarter. Later, a breakaway dunk by Alonzo Gee gave the Cavaliers a 90-86 edge with 7:10 to play.
Durant’s 3-pointer gave the Thunder a 97-95 lead, but the Cavaliers responded with an 8-0 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Jack and Irving, and they controlled the game from there.
NOTES: It was the second consecutive start for Thunder C Steven Adams. He replaced Kendrick Perkins, who is out for six weeks with a groin injury. … Hawes started for the second time since being traded from Philadelphia. … Durant was honored during pregame for being selected as the Western Conference player of the month for January. … Thunder G Derek Fisher was issued a technical foul early in the second quarter, his third of the season.