The Spurs played the better game, the smarter game, Thursday night. They are starting to look like the Spurs again.
But nobody was going to stop Kyrie Irving. Nobody. And some nights that’s enough to get you a W.
Irving had 57 points — both a career high and the most any player has scored this season — on 20-of-32 shooting, including going 7-of-7 from three. The Spurs defended him well, they contested 30 of his 32 shots (per NBA.com player tracking stats), but it didn’t matter, he still hit 19 of them.
That included a couple threes to send the game to overtime. The first was just a brilliant leaning, fading three from the corner to get the game within three. Then, after Kawhi Leonard missed two free throws that could have iced the game, Irving did what you see above.
He wasn’t done. Irving then went out and scored 11 in the OT to get the Cavaliers an impressive 128-125 win on the road.
That was as great a game as any player has had this season (Klay Thompson is the other guy in that discussion). He is the reason the Cavs picked up another W.
Only four guys have had two 55+ point games in a season in the last 25 years. Irving now joins Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Tom Chambers. (Yes, Tom Chambers, the guy could shoot the rock.)