Irving scores 39, Cavs beat Bucks 114-111 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm •  Published: December 20, 2013
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving pushed himself so hard he nearly vomited while sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter.

A flu bug couldn't stop him, and neither could the Bucks.

Irving made four free throws in the final 21.5 seconds of overtime and finished with 39 points despite being sick, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-111 win over short-handed Milwaukee on Friday night.

Irving spent the previous two days at home on the couch, trying to shake off an illness that flattened him. He missed practice on Thursday and almost sat out the game before deciding to leave his house about two hours before tip-off. The All-Star guard wound up playing 43 minutes and added six assists and four blocks while carrying the Cavs to their fifth win in six home games.

"I'm tired," Irving said afterward. "I really just want to lay down right now."

Earl Clark made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 44 seconds left in OT, and Jarrett Jack added 17 points for Cleveland. Tristan Thompson had 15 rebounds for the Cavs, who were grateful Irving chose to play.

"I wish he was sick more often," Jack joked.

With Milwaukee down by three, O.J. Mayo missed two 3-pointers in the last 10 seconds that would have tied it.

"I'll take them any time," Mayo said. "On the second one, I didn't know I had that much time left. I kind of rushed it, but I should have made it."

Mayo had 20 points, John Henson 18 and Brandon Knight added 17 and a career-high 14 rebounds as the banged-up Bucks lost their fifth straight. It was the second straight tough defeat for Milwaukee, which lost in double-overtime to New York on Wednesday.

Before the game, Irving said he spent the previous two days "in the same spot at home" as he tried to get well.

"I just got to get through it," he said. "I'm just going to give it my all and live with the results."

They turned out fine as he willed himself and his team past the Bucks, who came in with the NBA's worst record and were missing several key players because of injuries. However, Milwaukee was more than game and overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

"I was going to stay home," Irving said. "But a goal of mine this season is to play in all 82 games. That's always on the back of my mind. I just wanted to come out here and give what I could."

Henson's two free throws gave Milwaukee a 96-94 lead late in regulation, but the Cavs forced OT on Thompson's tip-in of Irving's miss with 1.8 seconds left.



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