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Kyrie Irving's late jumper lifts Cavs past Bobcats

January 5, 2013

(O-N-E photo by Scott Huffman)

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving scored 33 points on Friday against the Charlotte Bobcats, but none were more important than his final two.

With one second left, Irving connected on a 12-foot jumper over top of Charlotte's Jeffery Taylor, lifting the Cavaliers to a 106-104 victory against the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.

"Those are the moments I kind of live for," Irving said of his game-winning shot. "I just read the defense. (Taylor) is taller than me, but he won't stop me from getting where I need to go. I just created space and shot my pull-up."

Tristan Thompson and C.J. Miles also helped the Cavaliers' effort, scoring 19 and 18 points, respectively. Cleveland improves to 8-26 on the season.

Ben Gordon paced Charlotte (8-24), scoring 27 points. Ramon Sessions chipped in 20 points, and Gerald Henderson added 17 points.

The Bobcats trailed 62-48 at the half, but rallied behind Gordon's 18 second half points.

"We waited too long to do what we did," said Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. "Once we closed the gap at about the four-minute mark, it was a matter of trying to get stops and execute offensively. We did pretty doggone well in that, but the lesson learned here is that we can’t come out flat as a tack and give up those kind of points early. At halftime, they had 62. Again, to be able to reel them back in and do what we did was impressive."

However, Charlotte's second half surge and rally fell just short, and Irving's stunning shot gave the Bobcats their 19th loss in the past 20 games.

Charlotte is back in action Sunday at Detroit (13-22) before returning to Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz (17-17).

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