“As long as my elbow’s pointed at the rim, I feel like it has a great chance to go in, I learned that from Kobe Bryant.”
Kyrie Irving lit up the San Antonio Spurs to the tune of 57 points—a career high, as well as a franchise record—and ultimately led the Cavs to victory.
Not only did Irving impress in the box score hitting 7/7 from downtown, he did it in big time NBA fashion by hitting a last-second three pointer to send the game into overtime.
It’s not often that a teammate of LeBron James outshines him in spite of LeBron’s 31 points, but this wasn’t just any teammate, and it wasn’t just any night. It was a magnificent display of back-and-forth action between the defending champions—the fundamental obstacle that has so often ruined LeBron’s victory party—and a team on the up-and-up.
It was also one of those games where an individual shines so bright that all you want to do is spam your friends on Twitter with multitudes of fire emojis because superlatives don’t suffice. The crossovers and improbable dribble penetration through multiple Spurs were enough to leave us in awe, and just when it seemed unlikely that Kyrie would convert, he would pull basketball rabbits out of a convoluted hat of defenders.
In collecting 57 points, Kyrie surpassed not only his 55 point game earlier this season, but also LeBron James’ 56 point Cavs scoring record.
With 4.3 seconds left in regulation, and having just hit a 3 pointer to bring the Cavs within three points on the previous possession, Kyrie broke free and elevated to hit a big time shot that would take the game into overtime: