Cavs stretch Thunder losing streak to three
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) attempts a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Photo by Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
OKLAHOMA CITY - NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Kyrie Irving scored 31 points to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers over Oklahoma City 114-104 Wednesday, stretching the Thunder's losing streak to three games.
Jarrett Jack added 21 points for the Cavaliers, while Spencer Hawes netted 19 points, Britain's Luol Deng scored 13 points and Canadian forward Tristan Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Irving, who scored 14 points in the crucial fourth quarter, also had nine assists as Cleveland improved to 23-36.
"We're making progress in the right direction. It has been a tough season for us, but we are fighters," Irving said. "It starts with me bringing it every single night."
The Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak but remain six games out of an Eastern Conference playoff berth.
"We have nothing to lose," Irving said. "We need to be tested and we want to test every team in this league."
NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant had 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Thunder, who have yet to win since Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup from the injured list.
Oklahoma City, still with the best record in the Western Conference at 43-15, lost last week to reigning NBA champion Miami and also fell at home to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday before losing to the Cavaliers.
The Thunder had not lost three home games in a row since March and April 2009, near the end of the team's first season after moving from Seattle.
Westbrook added 24 points for the Thunder, while Spanish big man Serge Ibaka contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Oklahoma City led 76-72 entering the fourth quarter, but were outscored 42-28 over the last 12 minutes to fall.
The Thunder fell to 0-4 this season without Kendrick Perkins, the center who will miss the next six weeks after undergoing groin surgery.
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