With the game tight late in the fourth after Cleveland had led most of the night, the game had devolved down into a one-on-one between Irving and Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.
LILLARD! IRVING! LILLARD! IRVING!— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 17, 2013
Other players were doing some scoring and rebounding, but it was totally at the will of Irving and Lillard, who were completely dominating the pace of the game and taking it into their own hands at the time.
Irving had had enough of the back and forth, and he was ready to put this one away for good. Tristan Thompson had missed free throws; Alonzo Gee was missing layups; it was all up to Irving if Cleveland was going to win.
Lillard covered him magnificently on this possession, and you can't blame the crowd for wanting a double-dribble called—it certainly looked like one. A replay shows that Lillard did knock the ball free, so Irving collected himself, and just before the buzzer went off, he knocked it off the glass and into the cylinder.
What a shot by Kyrie. Cavs 89, Blazers 86. 26 seconds left. Given fact they played 2OTs in Cleveland, maybe we can schedule it again.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) January 17, 2013
Kyrie Irving everyone. Good call by the refs, Lillard did make contact with the ball, gave Irving a chance to reset. Cavs by 3 with :26.— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) January 17, 2013
Kyrie Irving is real, and he's good.— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) January 17, 2013
In the end, it was just another instance of Kyrie being cold-blooded.