Before Friday night's game against the Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was asked if he agreed OKC should be considered the favorite to win the Western Conference.
“I do see them as that good,” Scott said. “I think with them — because they are so young — a lot has to do with probably securing home court advantage. If they secure home court advantage, they're going to be tough for any Western team to beat in a seven-game series.
“I see them as a very, very dangerous team in the playoffs. … I like the way the Thunder has played this year.” Scott's team then went out and posted a 96-90 victory over OKC in front of a stunned sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, snapping the Thunder's 14-game home winning streak.
Fresh off a 100-99 victory at Denver on Wednesday night, the Cavs (15-23) clinched their second straight upset by outscoring OKC 14-5 in the final 2:54.
Leading the late surge was pending rookie of the year Kyrie Irving, who gave Cleveland a six-point advantage with 58.9 seconds remaining after collecting five points, two rebounds and one assist in a span of 90 seconds.
Irving finished with 12 assists, nine points, six rebounds, three steals and just one turnover.
“He's a point guard, man. He had 12 assists. He got everyone involved,” Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant said of Irving.
Though Irving's point total was modest and he shot just 4 for 12 from the floor, it was another clutch performance late in the fourth quarter from last year's No. 1 draft pick out of Duke, who played just 11 collegiate games due to a foot injury his freshman season.
“Shots that I normally make weren't falling, but that's OK,” Irving said. “It's a good win for us. I feel like we grew a lot closer in these last two games. I know a lot of people did not expect us to win these last two games.”
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