Kyrie Irving (USA)
to read

World Cup MVP Irving steals the show yet again

SAN ANTONIO (NBA/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - When USA guard Kyrie Irving shifts into overdrive, no one can stop him.

It has happened on three occasions in the past year.

In the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Irving got hot and made all six of his shots from long range en route to a game-high 26 points in a 129-92 rout of Serbia.

The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard played just 24 minutes in that contest.

On 28 January, Irving exploded for a then career-best 55 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Portland Trail Blazers, 99-94.

He did a little bit of everything in that contest, including hitting a go-ahead shot in the final minute.

On Thursday night, he was even better.

Irving erupted for a new career-high - and NBA best so far in the 2014-15 season - 57 points as the Cavs beat the defending champions San Antonio Spurs at home, 128-125.

He was incredible.

While most of the conversation about the season-ending MVP award have focused on Irving's fellow Spain 2014 USA team-mates James Harden, Stephen Curry along with Russell Westbrook and LeBron James, now Irving surely has to have a chance.

After the triumph, he was all smiles.

"It was awesome," Irving said.

It was just such a fun game - Irving

"The [AT&T Center] crowd was into it, and sold out.

"They came to see a great game and it was."

Irving was amazing, although he credits some of the success to good fortune.

"A few of those shots, it just left my hands and I kind of threw them up at the rim and I was lucky enough and blessed enough that they went in," he said.

The Cavs were also lucky that San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard missed two free-throws with 4.3 seconds remaining in regulation that would have won the game for the Spurs.

The misses opened the door for Irving to tie the game and send it to overtime.

As terrific as Irving was, the Cavs were not a one-man team.

James had 31 points and seven assists.

The two players combined for 43 points in the last quarter and overtime.

There were some who wondered if James and Irving could co-exist in the same Cavaliers squad.

Both are superstars.

On Thursday night, the dynamic duo showed they can not only play together, but thrive in each other's company.

"Once 'Bron gets into hitting those step-back threes, we're just looking at each other like, man, this is just so much fun," Irving said.

Cleveland have had some difficult times this season but right now they are second in the Eastern Conference standings behind Atlanta and looking formidable.

Knocking off the defending champions Spurs is only going to be a boost to their confidence.