TORONTO: Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer from the top of the arc with seven-tenths of a second remaining gave the Cavs a stunning 99-98 victory Saturday over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
The Cavs trailed 98-96 after the Jose Calderon beat Irving off the dribble and got an easy layup for the lead. Coming out of a timeout with 12.6 seconds left, Irving slowly dribbled to the top of the arc and fired with about three seconds left.
Irving pumped his fists and shouted toward coach Byron Scott, who stood seemingly stunned with his arms folded on the sideline. It didn’t appear that was what Scott thought would happen coming out of the timeout, but he’ll take it. The Cavaliers have their first three-game winning streak since March 7-11 of last year.
Irving had 32 points and five assists, Marreese Speights had 17 points off the bench and Tristan Thompson had 14 points and eight rebounds. But the star, as usual, was Irving.
He has had a sensational week, scoring 40 against the Celtics, 35 Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks and now 32 – including the game winner – tonight. He also received his first All-Star nomination and could be up for his first player of the week award as well.
The Cavs trailed by as many as 10 points and for much of the game until an Ellington 3-pointer and a basket from Thompson put the Cavs ahead 80-79 early in the fourth quarter. Then the Cavs turned it over to Irving, who did what he does best. It is the fifth game-winning basket of Irving’s brief career.