Last night the Portland Trail Blazers traveled to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. It was a thrilling match-up, as both point guards – Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving – put on big-time performances. In the end, however, Lillard proved to be too much for the Cavs as he drilled a three at the buzzer to give the Trail Blazers the 119-116 win.
Lillard finished with 36 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds, while Irving had 25 points and 10 assists in defeat.
The win kept the Trail Blazers atop the Western Conference, with their record now 22-4. Meanwhile, the loss dropped the Cavaliers to 9-15. But with the Eastern Conference as awful as it is, they remain just one game out of a playoff spot.
Lost in Lillard’s buzzer beater, however, was an amazing play from Kyrie Irving that tied the game up in the closing seconds. It also earned Irving the honors of Pass of the Night.
With over 16 seconds, left, the Cavs took the ball out on the sideline. After running off a few screens, Irving took the inbound pass from Jarrett Jack. In no surprise, his teammates scattered, and gave Irving the space for an iso. Guarded by Nic Batum, it was a tough task for Irving, but he used his quick crossover to get past Batum into the paint. Waiting for him, however were multiple defenders. Jumping into the air, it looked like Irving would be stuck, but he somehow slipped a little pass over to his buddy Varejao, who tied the game up at 116 with a layup.
If you have any suggestions for a pass we should consider, contact me on Twitter (@jmaloney9) or by email at maloneyj(at)xavier.edu