Cavaliers Figuring out Third Quarter Lapses
A 17-point lead at the half was chopped to 12, then 10 and finally nine Wednesday night at the Rose Garden. As he called a timeout and huddled with his coaches just two minutes into the third quarter, coach Byron Scott knew he’d seen this script before – and it almost always has a tragic ending for the Cavaliers.
A Cavs team notorious for poor third-quarter starts collided with a Blazers team famous for their second-half rallies. But Kyrie Irving scored 31 points, including six consecutive big ones late in the game, and the Cavaliers escaped with a 93-88 victory in a game they once led by 19.
“Somehow that third quarter is our Achilles heel right now,” Irving said. “We just become so soft physically. Teams beat us up, then we have to fight back again. It’s just a process we have to continue to learn from.”
“The last thing we had written on the board was composure, and I thought we had that in the latter part of the game,” Scott said. “We kept our composure, tried to run our plays and tried to get the type of shot we wanted. We knew at the end we had to defend and we were able to do that the last couple of minutes.”