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Kyrie Irving, Kyle Korver lead Cleveland Cavaliers past Sacramento Kings

By
Rick Hurd, The Sports Xchange
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. UPI/Brian Kersey
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, Kyle Korver added 18 and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a series of runs by the Sacramento Kings to post a 120-108 victory on Friday night at the Golden 1 Center.

LeBron James had 16 points and 15 assists, and Cleveland (29-10) snapped a two-game skid in his annual visit to the city where he made his debut in 2003.

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James' teams have now won nine times in his 12 visits against the Kings.

The Kings got as close as 90-85 in the fourth quarter after trailing by 24 points in the first half.

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Irving and Korver stopped recent slumps by combining to hit 17 of 32 shots from the field. They were a combined 5 of 21 in the two Cleveland losses leading into this one.

Korver, playing his third game after being acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade last Saturday, finally found some rhythm. He made his first three shots, went 7 of 10 from the field and drilled 4 of 6 shots from 3-point range. Korver had made only 2 of 10 shots and missed on all five of his 3-pointers in his first two games with the Cavaliers.

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Irving, who went 4 of 16 in a loss at Portland on Tuesday and was just 29 of 80 (36.2 percent) shooting in four games since returning from a slightly pulled hamstring, was 10 of 22 and added five assists.

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DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Kings (16-23), but Sacramento never got closer than five points after falling behind 30-11 in the first quarter.

The Kings have lost four of five on a season-high seven-game homestand.

Rudy Gay added 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and contributed 10 rebounds, and Ty Lawson led a frantic rally by scoring 13 of his 17 in the fourth quarter for the Kings.

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The Kings made runs at Cleveland three times, but the Cavaliers held them at check each time.

The Kings reduced a 19-point first-quarter deficit to 43-31 with six minutes left in the first half, but Korver scored seven points during a 16-4 run that put the Cavaliers back ahead 59-35.

The Kings got the deficit down to 66-58 with 7:02 left the third quarter, but Irving scored nine of Cleveland's next 14 as it built the lead back to 80-59.

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NOTES: Cavaliers F LeBron James released a video posted to the website uninterrupted.com in which he spoke to fans, promoted a new shoe and said he treasures every trip he makes to Sacramento. James, speaking from his hotel room in his 12th visit to the city where he made his NBA debut on Oct. 29, 2003 (he missed one season with an injury and another to a lockout), said, "It's crazy how time flies. ... I think about that every time I come back to this place. It's the first thing I think of, being an 18-year-old kid." ... James also told Cleveland.com that in his opinion, Kings C DeMarcus Cousins "is the best big man in our game." Cousins averaged 28 points and 10.1 rebounds in 34.5 minutes while playing all but one of Sacramento's first 39 games. ... Cousins will tie Vlade Divac and Lioniel Simmons for seventh on the team's career games list when Sacramento hosts Oklahoma City on Sunday. He played his 453rd on Friday. ... Cleveland coach Tyronne Lue inserted G Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup, replacing G DeAndre Liggins, who had started 12 straight games since G J.R. Smith fractured a thumb.

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