Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving displayed some late-night magic en route to a career-high and NBA season-high 57 points against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Most Points vs Defending NBA Champion
Among Irving's accolades, besides his point total being a franchise record (with help from the Elias Sports Bureau):
• His 57 were the most scored in a game against a defending champion since Wilt Chamberlain scored 62 against the Celtics during the 1961-62 season.
• He scored the most points in a game by a LeBron James teammate and the most in a game against a Gregg Popovich-coached team.
• It matched Purvis Short's 57 points for the 1983-84 Warriors for the most in a game against the Spurs and was the most in a road game against them.
• He matched the most in a game by a player who was perfect from 3-point range. Irving was 7-of-7. Short was 2-for-2 in his 57-point game mentioned above.
• He became the first player with multiple 55-point games in a season since Kobe Bryant had three for the 2006-07 Lakers. Irving's other such game was a 55-point effort against the Trail Blazers.
• He joined James as the only players in Cavaliers history with multiple 50-point games in a season.
• Irving turns 23 later this month. He's one of three players with multiple 50-point games before turning 23, joining Rick Barry and James.
• He hit the game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer, part of a 20-point effort in the final minute of the fourth quarter and the five minutes of overtime. He outscored the Spurs in that stretch, 20-17. Irving was 6-of-8 from the field. The Spurs were 6-of-11.
This is an NBA season if you lived on the East Coast and went to sleep before midnight you missed three of the five 50-point games. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and this one from Irving all came in games that started at 9:30 p.m. or later ET.