Meadville Tribune

Sports

January 7, 2014

Miles hits 10 3-pointers to lift Cavaliers past 76ers

CLEVELAND — C.J. Miles set a team record with 10 3-pointers and scored a season-high 34 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 111-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.

Miles made eight 3s in the first half, when the Cavs opened a 26-point lead that allowed them to coast to a rare easy win. He notched his ninth with 9:53 left and drained No. 10 with 9:17 remaining. He went 10 of 14 from outside the arc.

Cleveland’s second victory in 10 games came hours after the club acquired forward Luol Deng from Chicago in a trade for center Andrew Bynum and future draft picks. Deng wasn’t in uniform, but Cavs All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving returned after missing three games with a bruised left knee and finished with 16 points.

Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams scored a season-high 33.

Philadelphia’s Thaddeus Young, the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, missed all seven shots and didn’t score in 21 minutes. Evan Turner wasn’t much help, scoring four on 2 of 13 shooting.

Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who had lost several close games over the past two weeks.

Miles helped them locked this one up early.

His eight 3s in the first half tied a franchise mark he owned with three others and he appeared to be taking aim at the league record of 12 shared by Kobe Bryant (2003) and Donyell Marshall (2005).

Miles missed his only 3-pointer in the third quarter, but returned in the fourth and knocked down two 3s in a span of 36 seconds to give the Cavaliers a 101-72 lead, rewriting the team’s record book.

Cavs coach Mike Brown left Miles in to take a run at the league mark, but he missed a 3 with 7:43 left and was replaced moments later. Miles untucked his jersey as he walked off the floor and received a loud ovation as he was welcomed to the bench by smiling, high-fiving teammates.

The Sixers, who gave up 16 3-pointers and 126 points in a loss to Minnesota on Monday, were slow in their defensive rotations and left Miles wide open.

He made them pay.

Miles drained four 3s in the final 2:39 of the first quarter and made his first six attempts from long range before missing twice on one possession. But he quickly regained his stroke, and his eighth 3 gave Cleveland its largest lead of the first half, 64-38 with 36 seconds left.

Playing their fifth game in seven days, the Sixers were down 23 at halftime and never put a run together to challenge the Cavs.

Philadelphia’s perimeter defense was awful and has been a problem all season. The Sixers allowed the Cavs to make 13 3-pointers for the second time this season, and Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson knocked down 10 3s against Philadelphia last month.

Earlier in the day, the Cavs acquired the versatile Deng in exchange for Bynum’s unique contract, a potential first-round pick from Sacramento and two second-round picks. The Bulls also have the right to swap positions with the Cavs in the 2015 draft, but only if Cleveland makes the playoffs.

Deng is expected to report Thursday and join just his second team in a solid, 10-year NBA career.

His addition will give the struggling Cavs a much-needed confidence boost.

“It’s definitely an emotional lift for everybody in the locker room,” Irving said. “He’s just going to come out here and play hard for us on both ends of the floor. Luol, for our perimeter game, will give us the lift that we need.”

Notes: The Cavs start a five-game, West Coast trip on Friday in Utah. ... Deng reportedly rejected a three-year, $30 million extension from the Bulls last week, hastening his exit. He’s eligible for free agency this summer, but the Cavs control his Bird rights and can offer him more money than anyone else. It’s possible they’ll offer him an extension, but not anytime soon. “Right now our goal is to get Luol here, get him comfortable, help him transition into our team,” general manager Chris Grant said.

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