Rookie Brian Roberts led New Orleans with 17 points, tying a season high. Robin Lopez scored 15 points before fouling out, while Greivis Vasquez added 13.
Irving had his worst performance of the season in the final game before the break against San Antonio with six points on 2-of-15 shooting. He admitted before the game he was still catching up on his rest, but it didn't look that way with the game on the line.
"He was just kind of making shots everywhere," Scott said. "He made some great shots, did some great things and the crowd was fantastic."
"It stems off the trust that my teammates have in me and the coaching staff has in me," Irving said.
Cleveland played the finale of a seven-game homestand, which began with three wins. The Cavaliers then lost the last three games before the break.
New Orleans lost at home to Chicago on Tuesday and then made the trip to Cleveland for an unusual back-to-back set.
Hornets guard Eric Gordon didn't play for precautionary reasons as he continues to recover from knee surgery. He has yet to play on back-to-back nights on orders of the team's medical staff. Gordon, who is averaging 16.6 points, missed the final game before the All-Star break with a sprained right hand, but scored 20 points Tuesday in a 96-87 loss to Chicago.
Rivers started in Gordon's place and scored 11 points. Ryan Anderson, who leads New Orleans in scoring with a 16.9 average, was held to seven points.
NOTES: New Orleans F Al-Fasrouq Aminu had 10 rebounds in 36 minutes. ... Gordon has appeared in 19 games, but it's unclear when he'll be able to play on consecutive nights. "I wish that (policy) was over, but we don't see it ending anytime soon," Williams said. "For whatever reason, the doctors feel that's best for Eric. But he's healthy, so it's tough." ... Scott will attend funeral services for Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss on Thursday in Los Angeles. Scott played for the Lakers for 11 seasons and remained close to Buss over the years. "I'm trying to remember how great he was as a person and how great he was as an owner," Scott said. ... Assistant coach Paul Pressey will run Thursday's practice and Scott will return for Friday's session.