Meadville Tribune

National Sports

March 10, 2012

NBA: Cavaliers snap Thunder home win streak

March 10, 2012 7:00 a.m. OKLAHOMA CITY — Antawn Jamison scored 21 points and Kyrie Irving orchestrated a decisive run in the final 3 minutes and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped Oklahoma City’s 14-game home winning streak by beating the Thunder 96-90 on Friday night.

The Cavaliers scored their first consecutive road wins of the season by turning the normally fast-breaking Thunder into a half-court team. Oklahoma City converted only three transition baskets until trying to make a dramatic comeback in the final minute.

Neither team led by more than five until the final minute, when the Cavaliers were putting the finishing touches on a 12-0 run spearheaded by Irving.

Irving drove for a pair of layups to put Cleveland ahead and then found Jamison wide open under the basket for a layup to make it 90-85.

Kevin Durant tried to lead Oklahoma City back, but missed on a pair of 3-point attempts. He finished with 23 points and Russell Westbrook scored 19 for the Thunder.

For the second straight game, Cavs coach Byron Scott went with a smaller lineup — featuring three guards and with the 6-foot-9 Jamison the only one taller than 6-6 on the court — and it worked.

Cleveland snapped a six-game losing streak with a 100-99 win at Denver, then followed it with another surprise — with Irving providing the big plays down the stretch again after hitting the winning layup against the Nuggets.

Oklahoma City was limited to its lowest scoring total at home all season, falling to 17-2 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Cleveland, which allows the league’s second-fewest fastbreak points per game, kept it close by allowing only two transition baskets by the Thunder in the first half and then was able to duplicate that effort while allowing only 38 points after halftime.

Anthony Parker added 14 points, Alonzo Gee scored 12 and Irving finished with nine points and 12 assists.

James Harden had 15 points and Serge Ibaka 13 for the Thunder.

Ibaka helped preserve Oklahoma City’s 51-49 edge at halftime by blocking four shots in the final 2 minutes before intermission, including three against Gee on a single possession.

Notes: Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said starting guard Thabo Sefolosha had “another good workout” Friday in his rehab from a tendon injury in his right foot but there still is no timetable for his return. Sefolosha has not played since Jan. 27, missing the past 21 games. “I don’t know the exact date but I know that he is getting better, he’s feeling better and we’ll see,” Brooks said. ... The Thunder lead the NBA in free throw shooting (80 percent) but opponents also shoot better against them (78.5 percent) than any other team. ... Durant has 24 turnovers in his past five games.

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