CLEVELAND – Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the first time in a month with a 91-83 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.
The Cavaliers, who broke a six-game losing streak Friday night against Washington, have won both games since general manager Chris Grant was fired last week.
Irving scored the final four points in regulation to tie it. Luol Deng’s 3-pointer on the first possession of overtime put Cleveland ahead for good, 81-78.
Nick Calathes scored 17 points to lead Memphis, which has lost three of four since winning six straight.
Deng began the overtime scoring with a 3-pointer from the corner as the shot clock was winding down. Baskets by Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao, sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Calathes, left Cleveland with an 85-81 lead. A resounding dunk by Waiters and four free throws by Irving put the game away.
James Johnson scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help Memphis erase a nine-point deficit. Cleveland led 74-65 but was held scoreless for 4:54 as the Grizzlies took a 78-74 lead. Cleveland led 74-65 with 6:22 remaining, but the Grizzlies scored nine straight points to tie it with 4:10 remaining on two free throws by Johnson.
Irving tied it with a layup with 18 seconds remaining and was fouled, but missed the free throw, giving Memphis the ball with 16.7 seconds left. Zach Randolph lost the ball while driving the lane and Waiters’ heave from just inside halfcourt hit off the backboard.
Waiters scored 18 points, and C.J. Miles added 14 for Cleveland.
Johnson scored 15 points for Memphis. Randolph, who left the game in the second quarter to get three stitches to close a cut under his left eye, had 14 points. Calathes, playing in place of the injured Mike Conley, made his first six shots and was 7 of 9 from the field.
Randolph went to the locker room late in the second quarter after taking an elbow in the face from Tristan Thompson while they were going for a rebound. Randolph was on the court for a couple of moments and asked for a towel to put to his face. He tapped hands with Thompson before jogging off the court with a team trainer. Randolph returned to start the third quarter.
Deng started after missing Friday’s game with the flu.