Whether it's extending a season with a pair of 40-point performances or hitting the series-deciding 3-pointer in a Game 7 win a year ago, Irving's already stellar game has risen to another level whenever the Cavs have faced elimination.
The most Triple Doubles by any player in the NBA Finals, LeBron James, at 9.
"It's part of the game", Irving said.
With the chance go 16-0 in the playoffs and become the first National Basketball Association club with a ideal post-season run, Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled. Steph Curry had 14, Klay Thompson had 13, and Draymond Green had 16 points for the Warriors.
A year ago against a similarly unsafe but less powerful Warriors team the Cavaliers didn't get to the brink of elimination until Game 5. Kyrie Irving scored 40 points, Kevin Love added 23, J.R. Smith hit five threes, and Tristan Thompson erupted for 10 rebounds. It's clear that Golden State isn't unstoppable.
The Cavs showed what they're capable of doing when everything clicks on both ends, scoring a record 86 points in the first half of Friday's 137-116 win to extend the series and postpone any Warriors plans for a victory parade.
In a lockdown Game 1 of these Finals, the Warriors held the Cavaliers to a microscopic 89.2 points per 100 possessions, easily their worst of the playoffs.
Just like previous year, the NBA Finals are at 3-1 after four games. The old mark of 81 points in a half was set by the 1982 Philadelphia 76ers.
Coach Tyronn Lue sees the escalation of physical play in the National Basketball Association final as a possible advantage for his Cavaliers, playing for their playoff lives again Monday night. Fans on both sides acknowledge the Cavaliers played a good game. However, a technical assessed to him in the first half was actually called on Warriors coach Steve Kerr, leading to the confusion.
The Cavs' two All Stars dominated the final three games of last year's Finals and they're starting to find their groove.
The Warriors carried their collapse with them throughout this season, and they will surely hear more 3-1 chatter over the next two days as some pressure shifts to them while the series moves to their home. The Warriors previously swept Portland, Utah and San Antonio.
Curry clearly wasn't himself last postseason after he suffered an MCL sprain in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets.
Meanwhile, the average "get-in" price for the NBA Finals hosted in Cleveland hasn't changed much over the past three years: It's up slightly to $344 this year, compared to $339 in 2016 and $327 in 2015.
During the playoffs, most of Golden State's wins have not been close.
Now it's Cleveland, hoping to top its unprecedented comeback from a 3-1 Finals hole last spring by likewise becoming the first group in Finals history to climb out of a 3-0 grave.
Golden State clawed within seven, but then the Warriors began fouling and Kerr got nailed with his technical - one of seven in the game. There have been times throughout my career where I just played teams that were in the midst of something that can last for a long time.
Those fans who bet on Durant to win the NBA MVP should be patting themselves on the back as OddsShark listed Durant as a +200 favorite before Game 1, so those who bet $100 would stand to make a $200 profit.