Cavs Hold Off Timberwolves
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers made Monday’s affair more interesting than it probably should’ve been, but at season’s end, it’ll simply show up as a “W.”
The Cavs led by 16 points with just over five minutes to play, but Minnesota went on a 17-2 run to cut Cleveland’s lead to just a single point. The T-Wolves had a shot to take the lead on the final possession of the game, but Kevin Love’s contested three-point attempt drew back iron, preserving the 93-92 win for the Wine and Gold.
C.J. Miles led the Cavaliers with 19 points off the bench. Kyrie Irving flirted with a triple-double, netting 15 points, eight boards and six assists to go with two blocks and a steal. On the negative side, Irving led both squads with nine turnovers. Anderson Varejao was 6-of-7 from the floor for 12 points and Tristan Thompson tallied his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 boards. Andrew Bynum logged 18 minutes of action and rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 10 points, four boards and a game-high three blocks.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers led by six, 31-25, just after the start of the second quarter when C.J. Miles took over the game – hitting two straight three-pointers and a turnaround jumper before picking Nikola Pekovic’s pocket and feeding ahead to a streaking Alonzo Gee for the dunk, extending Cleveland’s lead to two touchdowns. The Cavs would eventually improve their edge to 23 points before Minnesota’s late rally.
Game Ball – C.J. Miles – Miles has been Cleveland’s Mr. Consistent through the first four games, bringing instant offense off the bench – averaging 14.8 ppg this season and notching double-figures in every game but one. On Monday, Miles finished 8-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc for 19 points in just over 18 minutes of play. But Miles was also clutch on the defensive end with a pair of blocked shots and steals to go with five rebounds.
By the Numbers – 40 … Points off the bench for the Cavaliers on Monday night. They came into the contest averaging 33.7 ppg and held Minnesota’s reserves to just 27 points.
Quotable – C.J. Miles, describing his big night against Minnesota …
”I was just able to get some good looks. I got to the basket a couple of times, I got some wide-open looks. I feel like I’m supposed to knock down all of those. When you get a couple of easy ones, everything else just feels like a rhythm after that.”
Up Next – After a quick stop at home on Monday, the Cavaliers hit the road once again. They begin with a trip to Milwaukee to face off against the Bucks on Wednesday then travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a Friday night meeting with Michael Carter-Williams and the surprising Sixers. They complete the home-and-home back-to-back against Philly back at The Q on Saturday night. Immediatly after, the Wine and Gold get right back on the road for a Central Division showdown in Chicago next Monday followed by a rematch with the Wolves in Minneapolis two days later.