Cavs Sink Sixers to Stay Unbeaten
Delly Leads Starters, Edwards Big Off the Bench
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
Yeah, it’s fair to say the Cavaliers are having a pretty good week here in Sin City for Summer League.
Hours before they tipped off their first game on Friday night against Milwaukee, they learned that the greatest basketball player on the planet will be wearing wine and gold – this season and beyond. Cleveland proceeded to win a thriller over the Bucks later that night. On Sunday afternoon, they crushed the Spurs to improve to 2-0. And on Monday evening, the Cavs featured four players in double-figures in a convincing 86-77 win over Philly to remain unbeaten heading into Wednesday’s tournament play.
The hits kept coming in Monday’s win. Sophomore forward Anthony Bennett continued to shake off one of the toughest rookie campaigns a top pick’s ever endured – turning in another rock-solid performance against the Sixers, netting 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting, adding four boards and an assist.
His fellow countryman and the top pick in this year’s draft, Andrew Wiggins, was just as good. He notched 10 points on an economical 4-for-8 shooting, adding three boards, three steals and a pair of blocks.
None of those statistics truly reflect how impressive the angular Canadian rookie actually looked on Monday night. Two of his ten points came on a jaw-dropping spin move culminated by a massive two-handed dunk and his pair of blocked shots showed off his advanced defensive instincts, with both keying fastbreak opportunities.
Bennett and Wiggins have both been good in all three Summer League contests thus far.
“We push each other like we’ve been doing in the past – AAU, Nike Global and Team Canada,” said Bennett. “He’s a young boy, so I just have to take him under my wing.”
As good as the Cavs Canadian Connection was, it was the man from a land down-under who led the squad in scoring.
Actually, second-year guard Matthew Dellavedova led both teams – netting nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, going 6-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the stripe. In 29 minutes, Delly added four boards, an assist and a steal to keep Cleveland unbeaten.
Forward Shane Edwards was born in America, but he still factored big into Cleveland’s nine-point decision – tallying 10 of his 14 points and eight of his game-high 11 boards after intermission.
Edwards, one of the Canton Charge’s most consistent performers last season, had just a single field goal, although it was a demonstrative dunk off a Wiggins’ miss that brought the Cox Pavilion crowd to its feet. The former Arkansas-Little Rock standout did most of his damage from the foul line, going 12-for-13 from the stripe.
The game got off to an ugly start, with both teams shooting poorly and combining for just 26 total points in the first period. But Bennett and Wiggins completely took over in a second quarter that saw Cleveland outscore the Sixers, 33-18. Philadelphia eventually carved the Cavaliers’ 21-point lead to just four in the fourth quarter, but the Wine and Gold stiffened down the stretch to earn the victory.
Three Philly starters – including last year’s No. 6 overall pick, Nerlens Noel – finished with double-figures.
Cleveland held the Sixers to 39 percent shooting and out-rebounded them, 34-25. The Cavs committed eight more turnovers than Philadelphia, but attempted 11 more free throws led by Edwards, who lived at the line in the fourth quarter.
”I didn’t think we played as well today as we did yesterday, but maybe that’s the back-to-back effect,” said Coach David Blatt. “I did like the fact that we were gritty and we stayed in there and we played hard and we played to win. (We) just didn’t have a stellar performance – we turned it over 23 times, that’s a little bit beyond the norm. But we scored 86 points, which is hard to believe in a 40-minute game, actually.”
The Wine and Gold will get one of the top seeds when tournament play tips off on Wednesday afternoon.