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Cavs' Irving scores 55 with LeBron out

Jan 29, 2015 - 5:01 AM Cleveland, OH ( - Kyrie Irving started ice cold, missing his first seven shots.

Hours later, his coach was asked to describe a performance he said was unlike anything he'd ever seen.

"We just ran some stuff for our hot player," said David Blatt, "and he delivered."

Irving piled up a career-high 55 points with an injured LeBron James cheering from the sideline and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-94 on Wednesday night for their eighth consecutive win.

Irving electrified Quicken Loans Arena by making a team-record 11 3-pointers, the last of them coming with 6.4 seconds left to give the Cavaliers the lead for good.

His 55 points were the most ever scored by a Cavaliers player at home and one shy of James' franchise-record 56 in a game in Toronto on March 20, 2005.

The fourth-year point guard almost single-handedly extended Cleveland's winning streak.

Timofey Mozgov added 12 points, including two key free throws late in the game, but Kevin Love went scoreless after getting 10 in the first quarter and J.R. Smith was the only other Cavs player in double digits with 11.

All of it came with James on the sideline because of a sprained right wrist he suffered Tuesday against Detroit, which could keep him sidelined for at least one more game.

The Cavs improved to 2-8 this season without the four-time NBA MVP in the lineup.

Irving went 17-of-29 after missing his first seven shots over the opening 10 1/2 minutes of the game. He scored 28 points in the first half and had 16 in the fourth quarter to keep the Cavs from giving away a game they led by 14.

"I've seen a lot of great performances, but something quite like that? No," Blatt said. "I've never seen that. And I've been coaching a long time."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 38 points to lead Portland, including two free throws that tied the score with 27.6 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout, Irving buried his final shot over 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum to give Cleveland the lead and break C.J. Miles' franchise record for 3s in a game.

"I tried to contest it, but he made a big shot," said Batum. "He had a big night and that was a big shot."

Irving then grabbed the rebound after Damian Lillard was short on a 3 from the right corner at the other end and made two foul shots for the last of his 55 points.

His previous career high was 44 points in an overtime loss to Charlotte on April 5 last year.

Miles' Cavaliers record lasted barely a year. He made 10 against Philadelphia on Jan. 7, 2014.

"I feel like the pace that I'm playing with right now is getting me a lot of open looks, especially in transition and pulling up for the 3-point shot," said Irving.

Cleveland has won eight in a row for the first time since an eight-game streak March 8-24, 2010, which was James' last season with Cleveland before he left to play for Miami.

Portland had an extra day off after Monday's scheduled game in Brooklyn was postponed Monday night because of a snow storm.

The Blazers hadn't played since a 103-96 win over Washington on Saturday night, when Aldridge scored 26 points after deciding to put off having surgery on a torn ligament in his left thumb, an injury that was expected to sideline the star big man between six and eight weeks.

Batum returned after missing a game with a wrist injury and scored seven points. Lillard had 14, Wesley Matthews scored 11 and Chris Kaman had a game- high 13 rebounds for Portland.

Game Notes

The Cavs recalled guard Joe Harris from Canton of the NBA Development League but he didn't play ... Love was 3-for-15 but pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds ... The Cavs lost in Portland on Nov. 4. Wednesday's win was just their second in the last nine meetings ... The Blazers face Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta on Friday ... The Cavs host Sacramento on Friday.