Monday NBA Roundup: Kyrie Irving and Cavs Ready to Separate Themselves out East

January 4th, 2016 by Grant Hughes Leave a reply »

Even when slowed by early season injuries and the absent urgency of a team told all summer it wouldn't face a threat in conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers played well enough to keep doubts about their East supremacy to a minimum.

On Monday, the fully healthy Cavs took another step toward erasing such skepticism altogether.

A 122-100 win over the Toronto Raptors—who were competitive early but faded late on the second night of a back-to-back set—signaled Cleveland's growing strength, pushing its record to 23-9 on the year and putting it three games ahead of the No. 2 Chicago Bulls in the loss column.

Kyrie Irving played his best game in months, buckling leg joints with his handle, scoring a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and generally looking like the terrifying difference-maker Cleveland's offense has been waiting for.

Irving told's Dave McMenamin that a dive onto the floor for a loose ball in a Jan. 2 win over the Orlando Magic was his "I'm back" moment.

The rest of the Cavs had his back against Toronto.

LeBron James scored 20 on 7-of-11 shoot ...

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