The field goal percentage was still pretty bad, but rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters put up some numbers Tuesday as the Cavaliers defeated the Phoenix Suns 89-74 in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Waiters, the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft, finished with 16 points, four rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes while coming off the bench for the first time, but continued to struggle with his shot. The Syracuse product went 5-for-15 from the field, making him 12-for-40 over three games (.300).
To Waiters’ credit, he did get to the line, where he went 6-for-7 to cancel out some of his ongoing struggles from the field.
The Cavs (2-1), who led 70-54 after outscoring the Suns (1-1) 33-17 in the deciding third period, also got 17 points and five boards in 22 minutes off the bench from slimmed-down big man Samardo Samuels. Cleveland outscored Phoenix by 20 points while he was on the floor.
Center Tyler Zeller, acquired for three draft picks after Dallas chose him at No. 17, finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes. Zeller had averaged 16.5 points over Cleveland’s first two summer league games.
Second-year power forward Tristan Thompson started, but played just eight minutes and finished with four points and four rebounds, while point guard Donald Sloan, who had 19 points and zero assists Monday, put up 13 points and one assist in 28 minutes.
Second-year big man Markieff Morris started at center for the Suns and had 24 points on 7-for-21 shooting from the field and 9-for-10 at the line in 33 minutes. He added a game-high 17 boards.
On the injury front, Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving will have what the team is calling “a surgical procedure” done today at the Cleveland Clinic to repair a fracture in his right hand. The 20-year-old Irving suffered the injury Saturday during practice when he hit a padded wall in frustration.
The Cavs continue to say Irving will be sidelined six to eight weeks and be ready for the start of training camp in late September, but that could change if doctors discover what is called a “non-displaced” fracture today.
That was the type of wrist injury suffered by center Anderson Varejao in a Feb. 10 game against Milwaukee last season, and he wound up missing the last 11 weeks of the season, though he probably could have played the last couple weeks had the Cavs really been trying to win.
Also on the point guard front, the Cavs worked out young veteran Jonny Flynn on Monday in Las Vegas. The free agent has worked out for a handful of other teams and a decision does not appear imminent on either side.
Finally, unrestricted free agent power forward Antawn Jamison, who earned $15.1 million with the Cavs last season, has reportedly agreed to contract terms with the Los Angeles Lakers, while former Cleveland assistant Michael Malone, now with Golden State, is out of the running for the Orlando head coaching job.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.