Flashback Friday: Kyrie Irving steals one for the Cleveland Cavaliers
With the San Antonio Spurs in town tomorrow night, it’s always fun to discuss the magnificent performance of Kyrie Irving on March 12, 2015 in San Antonio. It was really a game for the ages for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Uncle Drew was on another level in this one. They call him “Mr. Fourth Quarter” for a reason; he’s got ice in his veins. We all know that. He was on fire all night in this game, though, setting his career-high in points for a single-game, and the franchise record, with 57 big ones.
This was a message to the rest of the NBA that Irving was a big game performer. He was money in the bright lights of a national television audience on the road. He kept getting crucial bucket after crucial bucket, especially when it mattered most.
After pacing the Cavs in the first three quarters with 30, he kicked it into high gear, dropping 16 points in the closing period. His ability to connect on big shots is something you can’t teach, and it puts tremendous fear in the defense in clutch time to get stops.
The last minute of regulation was a culmination of this uncanny scoring talent. Kyrie had an amazing last 56 seconds, with two threes and an and-one to tie the game at 110 to force overtime. This was the icing on the cake for him, as he was a perfect seven of seven from three, and ten for ten at the charity stripe. As was seen in OT, the Cavs needed pretty much all of it. Here’s your eye candy:
It didn’t stop there, either. Uncle Drew saved his best for OT, as he put up 11 in the five-minute period, sinking the Spurs, 128-125. It’s important for us as Cavs fans to cherish these moments of excellence from what is likely the best time in the history of this franchise. For me, this game against one of the best organizations in the NBA was when I knew Uncle Drew will eventually be the guy.
I’m not saying LBJ is on the way down, in fact, he’s still undoubtedly the best player in the league. That said, we’ve been pretty lucky to be able to get another transcendent talent in Kyrie. Games like this one a bit less than two years ago are just nice reminders for people like myself, the armchair quarterbacks, to realize how great we have it in the Land.
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