Cavaliers 106, Bobcats 104By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Jan 4, 2013 9:50 PM EST
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Kyrie Irving scored 33 points and hit a game-winning, 12-foot jumper with 1.0 second remaining as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 106-104 on Friday night. The Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak despite blowing all of an 18-point second-half lead, and they did it thanks to Irving, the second-year guard from Duke. He scored 16 of Cleveland's last 18 points. His game-winner was a fade-away shot over the outstretched arms of Jeffery Taylor after the Cavs inbounded with 16 seconds left and the score tied 104-104. Charlotte's Gerald Henderson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Cavs raised their record to 8-26, while the Bobcats fell to 8-24. Irving finished 10-of-21 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. The Cavs also got 19 points and 13 rebounds from Tristan Thompson, and 18 points from C.J. Miles. Ben Gordon led Charlotte with 27 points, and Ramon Sessions scored 20. The Bobcats also got 17 points from Henderson and 11 each from Taylor and Kemba Walker. Cleveland shot 59.1 percent from the field in the first half and, behind Miles' 15 first-half points, led by as many as 17 at 52-35 before settling for a 62-48 halftime lead. The lead then grew to 81-63 with 5:03 left in the third quarter on a basket by Tyler Zeller. But the Bobcats chipped away and the Cavs took an 86-74 lead into the fourth quarter. Charlotte continued to rally and eventually took the lead at 91-90 on Sessions' two free throws with 4:46 remaining. Irving answered with a 3-pointer on Cleveland's next possession and the Cavs maintained small leads until the final minute. Thompson's two free throws with 36.3 seconds left gave Cleveland a 104-102 lead, and then Henderson tied it with a basket with 16 seconds left. Notes: The Cavs were missing center Anderson Varejao for the second straight game because of a right knee contusion, and were without guard Daniel Gibson (concussion) for the third straight game. Varejao led the NBA in rebounding at 14.4 going into Friday's action. ... Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Tyrus Thomas were back in uniform for the Bobcats. Kidd-Gilchrist missed the 91-81 win at Chicago on Monday with a corneal abrasion of his right eye. Thomas returned Friday after missing the previous 23 games with a strained left calf. The Bobcats were without Byron Mullens for the fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... The Cavs were starting their 12th back-to-back already this season on Friday night, with a home game against Houston to follow on Saturday. By contrast, the Bobcats have played only nine sets of back-to-back games this season. ... After being sent down to the NBA Developmental League on Thursday, Cavs forward Jon Leuer had 14 points for the Canton Charge against Springfield on Thursday night. The second-year pro had appeared in only five games with the Cavs this season. ... Going into Friday's action, the Bobcats were 6-3 in games decided by four points or less. They won only three such games all of last season. ... Walker led the way with 18 points in the Bobcats' win at Chicago on Monday, which snapped the 18-game losing streak. ... The Cavs were coming off a 97-94 loss to Sacramento on Wednesday, as Irving scored 22 and Dion Waiters scored 20 in his first game in a sixth man's role. ... The Bobcats will hit the road next for a game at Detroit on Sunday and will play four of their next five games on the road.
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