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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Blazers 98, Cavs 78

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 9, 2012

He'll never say this out loud, but this trip seems to be proof to Kyrie Irving he's going to have to score -- a lot -- for the Cavs to be successful.

That's why he had seven turnovers against the Timberwolves Friday and at least three shots swatted away underneath the basket on Sunday.

Irving had seven assists in each of his first two games, but has averaged 4.5 in the six games since. Part of the problem is open teammates not finishing plays, but Irving is also getting more aggressive in his shot selection. He and Antawn Jamison are the two leading scorers and likely will be for much of the season.

When Jamison goes into a shooting funk as he did Sunday night, it just puts even more pressure on Irving to score and carry the Cavs. It's an awful lot to ask of a 19-year-old.

The Cavs understand this, but thus far, Irving seems up to the task.

Key stat
The Cavs turned the ball over a season-high 24 times and are ranked in the top five in the league in turnovers.

Turning point
The Blazers' 12-0 run in the third quarter after Irving scored 9 of 11 points and Jamison hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cavs within four late in the third quarter. After the 12-0 run, the Blazers built the lead to 24 in the fourth quarter and weren't challenged again.

“Twenty four turnovers, you’re not going to win a whole lot of NBA games. I didn’t think we had the type of focus we needed, especially on the offensive end. I’ve never seen us that flippant with the ball, just throwing it everywhere like it was a hot potato. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game.” -- Cavs coach Byron Scott

Up next
The Cavs (4-4) play at the Utah Jazz (5-3) at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

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