Irving, Cavs rally past Milwaukee
Kyrie Irving knows how to celebrate good news.
A little over 24 hours after being selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Houston, the Cavaliers’ dynamic point guard put on a show.
Irving scored 35 points and Cleveland rallied from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-108 on Friday night.
The reigning rookie of the year scored 24 points in the second half, including 16 in the third when the Cavaliers got back in the game. Irving added eight points in the final 4:01 as Cleveland posted back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
Coming off a 40-point performance against Boston on Tuesday, Irving hit 12 of 17 from the field and made all nine of his free throws. He missed one shot in nine attempts in the second half.
“The last couple of games have been fun,” Irving said. “Even at practice, we just know when we’re going to be focused to dial it up and get that attitude.”
Irving is also following instructions from Cavaliers coach Byron Scott.
“Coach told me to be aggressive and I’ll continue to be aggressive,” he said.
“He’s a hell of a young player,” Scott said. “When we drafted him we knew that. When we got him at practice we knew we had really struck gold because I didn’t think he was as good as he was until we had him in training camp. Then we were really excited. We said this kid is a lot better than we thought.”
Cleveland, which trailed 79-59 midway through the third quarter, took a 96-95 lead on a 3-pointer by newly acquired Wayne Ellington with 6:31 to play. The basket was his first since joining the Cavaliers from Memphis on Tuesday, and it gave Cleveland the lead for good.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 30 points and Monta Ellis added 21, but the Bucks’ collapse ended their three-game winning streak. Even hitting a season-high 14 3-pointers in 28 attempts couldn’t save Milwaukee.
“In the second, third and fourth quarters, we gave them 30-plus points,” Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan said. “They kind of had their way with us. They played well and deserved to win the game.”
Following Ellington’s basket, a 3-pointer by Daniel Gibson, a breakaway layup by Shaun Livingston and a foul shot by Marreese Speights helped Cleveland build a 102-95 lead.
Tristan Thompson scored 18 points and Dion Waiters added 16 for the Cavaliers. Livingston scored 12 points.