Kyrie Irving isn’t the only second-year player turning in big performances for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Forward Tristan Thompson, following up on a career night Friday, had 15 points and 16 rebounds as the Cavaliers defeated Orlando 91-85 on Sunday night, leading Cleveland to its second straight win for the first time since Feb. 26-27.
Thompson put a stop to the Cavaliers’ season-high, 10-game losing streak Friday against Boston with 29 points and 17 rebounds — both career highs. He hit two free throws and a hook shot in the final three minutes Sunday to help Cleveland maintain its lead after the Cavaliers rallied from an eight-point deficit late in the third quarter.
Alonzo Gee scored 19 points, while Wayne Ellington’s jumper gave the Cavaliers the lead for good at 72-70 with 7:57 remaining in the game.
After struggling to be consistent as a rookie, Thompson has been a bright spot in another difficult season for the Cavaliers, who have been plagued by injuries and are facing speculation that coach Byron Scott might not return next season.
“I’m just playing with energy,” Thompson said. “I’m going to try to keep doing it the rest of the year.”
Scott is pleased with what he’s seen from his team the last two games.
“They haven’t quit,” he said. “They are going to play it out. We are going to keep playing as hard as we can.”