DALLAS – Kyrie Irving was headed toward Cleveland’s locker room when he was greeted exuberantly by general manager David Griffin.
“You might stick in this league,” Griffin told the fourth-year player from Duke.
Irving scored 22 points with some big 3-pointers, including one in overtime after LeBron James made the go-ahead layup, and the Cavaliers extended their winning streak to eight games with a 110-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
James had 27 points, including a layup with a minute left in overtime that pushed the Cavs ahead 106-105. After an attempted 3 by Deron Williams rattled out for Dallas, Irving beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer from the top of the key after James passed up a shot and got the ball to Irving instead.
“It’s just the confidence I have in him and he has the confidence in his self,” James said.
It was only the 10th game for Irving this season after recovering from a broken left kneecap sustained in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last June.
Cleveland, which trailed by 16 points in the first quarter, never led until Irving made a 3-pointer with 10 minutes left in regulation to make it 75-74. That was the first of nine lead changes over a span of less than 4 minutes that Irving capped with another 3 to put the Cavs up 85-83.
“That’s not the team that we want to be (in the first half), but we were still in the game,” Irving said. “Talent kept us around for that long, but we locked in in the second half and matched up really well when they went small ball. For us, it’s just a luxury having that ability.”
Chandler Parsons led Dallas with a season-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
The game was tied at 95 after James made a drive through the Mavs for an emphatic two-handed slam with 20 seconds left in regulation, though he didn’t get the foul he wanted.
Dallas then had the ball in Dirk Nowitzki’s hands for a possible final shot to win in regulation, but Iman Shumpert stripped the ball free and the Cavs had less than a second after a timeout.
“It’s not surprising. We know Shump’s got the best hands in the business. We keep saying that,” James said. “He got two big strips late in the game, one in regulation and one in overtime when we needed a stop. That’s why he’s on the floor.”
Spurs 109, Pistons 99
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tony Parker scored 31 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and 13 rebounds, and San Antonio beat Detroit for its ninth straight victory.
Knicks 120, Celtics 114
In New York, Kristaps Porzingis scored 26 points, Arron Afflalo had 20 of his 24 in the second half, and the Knicks defeated Boston.
Grizzlies 107, Rockets 91
In Memphis, James Harden scored 25 points, Dwight Howard added 17 points and 14 rebounds and Houston beat the Grizzlies.
Bucks 106, Bulls 101
In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bucks used a late rally to slip past Chicago.
Thunder 101, T-Wolves 96
In Minneapolis, Kevin Durant shrugged off a slow start to finish with 30 points in Oklahoma City’s victory over the Timberwolves.
Pacers 116, Suns 117
In Indianapolis, Paul George had 21 points and seven rebounds, and the Pacers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Phoenix.
Lakers 95, Pelicans 91
In Los Angeles, Lou Williams scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers rallied late to snap their four-game losing streak.