Cavs Clamp Down, Take Second Straight in Vegas

July 14, 2013
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

After two Summer League contests, teams looking to beat the Cavaliers might want to get them early.

For the second straight game, Cleveland’s defense was absolutely stifling in the fourth quarter – holding the Grizzlies to just eight points in the final period en route to a 69-58 win on Sunday night – their second straight in Sin City.

But the Wine and Gold’s defense wasn’t the only thing clicking in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Dion Waiters, who had been aggressive all night, hit another gear down the stretch – scoring 11 of his 23 points in the final five minutes.

Waiters did most of the scoring damage for the Cavs on Sunday, but he also got his mates involved – dishing out four of Cleveland’s six assists on the evening.

After a cool-shooting first half, the he second-year guard from Syracuse finished 7-for-17 from the floor and went 8-of-12 from the line, adding four boards in the win.

“In the fourth, I wanted to be aggressive – that was the way we were going to get this win,” said Waiters. “I saw they were tired, so I wanted to step on the gas and step on their necks. We were able to do that and I was able to hit shots.”

Waiters’ 2012 classmate, Tyler Zeller, joined him in double-figures for the second straight game – netting 11 points and nine boards.

Cory Higgins came off the bench to net 10 points of his own. The lithe guard from Colorado was 2-of-5 from the floor, canning his only three-point attempt and going 5-for-6 from the stripe. The Wine and Gold were +20 with Higgins on the floor.

In his second straight start, rookie forward Kenny Kadji led both squads with three blocked shots to go with five boards and a steal.

After holding the Lakers to just 14 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, the Cavaliers were even better on Sunday evening. Even the eight-point total they allowed in Sunday’s win was slightly deceiving. It was only five until Memphis’ Jack Cooley completed a three-point play with 19 seconds remaining.

The Cavaliers play one more scheduled contest – taking on the newly-named Pelicans on Monday afternoon before tournament play begins on July 17.