Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving Outshines Kevin Durant as Cleveland Cavaliers Upset OKC

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 15: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court in the second half against the New York Knicks  on December 15, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The New York Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2013

The Cleveland Cavaliers took down the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 115-110 game thanks, as usual, to some fourth-quarter heroics by Kyrie Irving.

Irving scored 35 points in the game as he increased his output quarter after quarter, peaking with a 13-point spurt in the fourth.

In fact, it wasn't just a 13-point fourth quarter for Irving, it was a 13-point performance in the final three minutes of the game, scoring 13 of Cleveland's final 15 points.

Not only was Kyrie hitting shot after shot, he was going mano e mano with one of the league's best players in Kevin Durant, and he won.

While it was Marreese Speights, a player who will remain unheralded outside of Cleveland, who helped put Cleveland out in front early on in the fourth quarter with 13 points of his own in the quarter, it was Kyrie who took over late and turned into a diamond under pressure.

Y'all, it's KD vs. Kyrie. Get to a screen.

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 3, 2013

Kyrie Irving is absolutely terrifying in crunchtime.

— Royce Young (@dailythunder) February 3, 2013

Memo to the NBA: you better not let the Cavs hang around until the end because Kyrie Irving will rip ur heart out and step all over it.

— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) February 3, 2013

 

It was a game for Irving where he not only proved that he's dug himself a foothold as a star in the league, but he's starting to turn the corner to full-on superstardom.

He can do this against the Portland Trail Blazers or the Milwaukee Bucks, and everyone watches in awe.

Kyrie Irving waves off everyone else, sticks 3 right over Westbrook. Wow. Cavs lead OKC 113-108 with 42.2 secs to go.

— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 3, 2013

 

However, when he does things like this against the best team in the NBA, against a very good defensive point guard, while one of the league's best scorers does his best to match him on the other end, people stare with mouths agape, waiting for a second of relief, so they can break down in applause.

There aren't usually occasions where we can make cut-and-dry conclusions about when a player has become more than a regular above-average player, but this definitely seemed like one of those times.

Kyrie Irving’s 35 points tied Kobe Bryant for an opponent high against the Thunder this season.

— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) February 3, 2013

 

Superlatives aside, what we got an eyeful of tonight was one terrific scorer going head to head with a terrific young point guard, and it was as thrilling as it was billed to be.

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