NBA scores 2016: Kyrie Irving is the Warriors’ Grim Reaper

Kyrie Irving might as well be the Grim Reaper at this point: with his customary black cloak exchanged for tattered Warriors jerseys he’s been collecting, and his scythe replaced by a game-winning jump shot. Six months after beating the Warriors in Game 7, he did it again on Christmas Day, nailing a 13-foot turnaround jumper with three seconds left and celebrating with the meanest of mugs.

We all know Cavaliers’ 109-108 win over Golden State on Sunday doesn’t really mean anything, not with both teams being overwhelming favorites to face each other in the NBA Finals this coming summer. But Irving’s continued crusade against the Warriors isn’t just entertainment — it shows how high the Cavaliers can soar, and why they can actually keep up with Golden State even after they added some dude named Kevin Durant.

That Irving turnaround was ruthless, to be sure. It’s a Kobe Bryant shot, with Irving ending up on his butt behind the three-point line by the time he comes to a halt, watching the ball float into the net anyway. It’s a move that secretly demands plenty from Irving’s excellent footwork and ball-handling, even if the flash and dazzle we’re used to watching on loop isn’t there.