Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/11/12
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In just his second year in the NBA, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving has a buzz about him. He has become must-see viewing whenever he comes to an opposing team's city and is already considered a top-10 point guard in the league. But when the Cavaliers came to Oklahoma City Sunday, Russell Westbrook made sure to remind fans that they still have one of the best floor generals in the league in their own house. Westbrook led the Thunder to a 106-91 win over Cleveland for its fourth straight victory.Westbrook led all scorers with 27 points, to go along with 10 assists and six rebounds. But it was his timely baskets down the stretch that were the most crucial for Oklahoma City (5-2). The Thunder had an 11-point halftime lead that was whittled down to six and the Cavs looked like they were going into the final period with momentum on their side. But Westbrook drained a halfcourt shot as time expired to push the lead back to nine points. Westbrook wasn't done. He came out in the fourth and hit consecutive 3-pointers to kick-start a Thunder blitz that Cleveland was unable to recover from. Cleveland (2-5) coach Byron Scott wasn't concerned with how his team's offense would look when it took on Oklahoma City. He was more interested in seeing how his defense would perform against a dangerous unit. Scott didn't get what he was looking for from his team.With Westbrook leading the way, the Thunder had five players score in double figures. Kevin Durant posted 26 points and eight rebounds while Kevin Martin added 16 points. Irving has a team-high 20 points for the Cavaliers. But he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Daniel Gibson scored 14 in the defeat. The Cavs jumped out to a blistering start in the first quarter. Irving had his shot going early and got Westbrook into foul trouble in the process as they held a 17-11 advantage. But Durant and Martin led the Thunder on a 13-4 run to end the quarter. That included a midrange jumper by Martin as the buzzer sounded to put Oklahoma City up 27-21. Martin, who came to Oklahoma City last month in the trade that sent James Harden to Houston, continues to show he can score from anywhere on the floor since coming to Oklahoma City from Houston. His shooting range has expanded even more playing alongside Durant and Westbrook. Cleveland fell in love with the 3-pointer in the second period and seemed incapable of shooting a mid-range jumper despite its strong pick and roll game. It allowed them to get back into the game, but failed to show up when it mattered in the fourth. NOTES: Cleveland's Anderson Varejao made the 400th steal of his career in the first quarter. He entered the day riding a streak of three straight double-doubles, though he missed the game Wednesday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors due to a sore knee. ... Cleveland has owned the matchup with Oklahoma City over the past few years. It defeated the Thunder in the only matchup between the two teams last season and had won six of the previous nine meetings. However, in six of the games, LeBron James played for the Cavs. ... Despite the fact Westbrook was shooting a career-low 36 percent from the field entering the game, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks wasn't too worried about his star point guard. "It's so early, it's hard to judge your shooting percentage after six games," Brooks said. "But he does so many other things well for us. The shots are not falling, but he's defending and passing and he's leading us. You can't worry about shots." ... Scott has been around some great point guards during his NBA career. He played alongside Magic Johnson and Mark Jackson and coached Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. Now he has second-year pro Irving on his team. "The one thing I said, I don't know a whole lot about big men, but I do know guards," Scott said. "And I know when I got a good one."
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