Cavaliers drop first game against NBA competition

Jon Reisdorf

CANTON, OHIO— The Cleveland Cavaliers lost its first preseason game against an NBA opponent in front of a sellout crowd of 3,942 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center Tuesday night.

The visiting Milwaukee Bucks took a 25-23 lead after the first quarter on two free throws by Larry Sanders. The Bucks would hold the lead the remainder of the game with a final score of 97-80 over the Cavs. Bucks guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings each scored 15 in the game.

The Cavs were outscored in the paint 48 to 28 and had 22 total turnovers; including four by rookie guard Dion Waiters. Waiters, who the Cavs selected with the fourth overall pick of last year’s draft, still has a lot to work on before the season according to Cavs head coach Byron Scott.

“He needs to learn the offense,” said Scott. “I can’t be drawing up plays on the side and have him not know what to do when he runs out there.”

One new Cavalier who seemed to have grasped the offense well is guard C.J. Miles, who started 14 games for the Utah Jazz last season. Miles led all scorers with 18 points Tuesday night.

“He was definitely a bright spot in the game,” said Scott.

Other bright spots were point guard Kyrie Irving, who had 16 points in his 20 minutes on the court. Newly acquired forward Jon Leuer, a rookie last season with the Bucks, would add 8 points and 6 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Bucks guard Beno Udrih left the game in the first quarter after hitting the back of his head on the knee of teammate Larry Sanders. Udrih walked to the locker room under his own power but didn’t return to the game after playing only 45 seconds.

The game was played on the home court of the Cavs D-League team, the Canton Charge.

Contact Jon Reisdorf at [email protected].