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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was sidelined for the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, but Kyrie Irving ensured that they didn’t miss him.
The Cavs extended their winning streak to eight games despite the absence of James, as Irving took over the show and dropped 55 points on Portland in a sensational performance.
It is a good time in the NBA for high-scoring individual displays given Klay Thompson and Derrick Rose’s recent outings, but Irving ensured that his name was mentioned alongside them with a devastating shooting night.
Irving made a team-record 11 3-pointers and finished 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He scored 24 of Cleveland’s final 28 points and 16 of the Cavs’ 20 in the fourth quarter.
In addition, he nailed a long jumper with 6.4 seconds left that saw the Quickens Loan Arena erupt before burying a 3-pointer to break a tie and then grabbed a rebound before dropping two free throws to seal the win.
While the point guard insisted that it was a team effort, James described it as “one of if not the greatest performances by a person live” he had seen as he congratulated his teammate on Twitter and in the video below: