Cavs coast past 76ers in first game since Deng-for-Bynum trade
Not even the polar vortex could cool off C.J. Miles.
While Cleveland was frozen to its core by an arctic blast of sub-zero temperatures, Miles put on a blistering performance, making a team record 10 3-pointers and scoring a season-high 34 in leading the Cavaliers to a 111-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.
Miles made eight 3s in the first half, when the Cavs opened a 26-point lead that allowed them to coast to a rare easy win. He notched his record-breaking ninth 3 with 9:53 left and drained No. 10 with 9:17 remaining. He went 10 of 14 outside the arc.
"I got some clean looks," Miles said. "I'm still mad because there were a couple that I thought I could have made. But my teammates looked for me and set some screens that allowed me to get open, and all I had to do was get my feet set."
Cleveland's second victory in 10 games came hours after the club acquired forward Luol Deng from Chicago in a trade for center Andrew Bynum and future draft picks. Deng wasn't in uniform, but Cavs All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving returned after missing three games with a bruised left knee and finished with 16 points and eight assists in 30 minutes.
Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams scored a season-high 33, but Philadelphia couldn't stop Miles.
"When somebody like that is rolling you have to be aware of where he is every second," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "He got away from us. You give him credit, but we didn't get the job done on him defensively."
Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young, the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, missed all seven of his shots and didn't score in 21 minutes. Evan Turner wasn't much help, scoring four points on 2 of 13 shooting.
Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who had lost several close games over the past two weeks but enjoyed their most lopsided win this season.
Miles helped them locked this one up early.
His eight 3s in the first half tied a franchise mark he owned with three others and he was taking aim at the league record of 12 shared by Kobe Bryant (2003) and Donyell Marshall (2005). Miles missed his only 3 in the third, but returned in the fourth and knocked down two 3s in a span of 36 seconds to give the Cavaliers a 101-72 lead, rewriting the team's record book.
Cavs coach Mike Brown left Miles in, but he missed a 3 with 7:43 left and was replaced moments later. Miles untucked his jersey as he walked off the floor and received a loud ovation as he was welcomed to the bench by smiling, high-fiving teammates.
"We called his number quite a lot tonight," Brown said, "and our guys were finding him on their own. For us, it was real beautiful basketball to watch."
The Sixers, who gave up 16 3-pointers and 126 points in a loss to Minnesota on Monday, were slow in their defensive rotations and left Miles wide open.
He made them pay.
Miles drained four 3s in the final 2:39 of the first quarter and made his first six attempts from long range before missing twice on one possession. But he quickly regained his stroke, and his eighth 3 gave Cleveland a 64-38 lead.
"They looked for me," Miles said. "They ran some plays for me. Kyrie called some plays. Coach called some plays. The big guys screened for me, and they got me open. All I had to do was be square to the basket and everything else was just like in practice."
Playing their fifth game in seven days, the Sixers were down 23 at halftime and never put a run together to challenge the Cavs.
Philadelphia's perimeter defense was awful and has been a problem all season. Brooklyn's Joe Johnson knocked down 10 3s against the Sixers last month.
Brett Brown pulled starters Young, Turner and Spencer Hawes early in the third and they didn't return.
"It was flogging a dead horse," he said. "It wasn't going to happen. Our guys weren't going to find anything extra. You could just see it their body language and their eyes."
NOTES: Miles' 14 3-point attempts were a club record. ... The Cavs start a five-game, West Coast trip in Utah on Friday. ... Deng reportedly rejected a three-year, $30 million extension from the Bulls last week, hastening his exit. He's eligible for free agency this summer, but the Cavs control his Bird rights and can offer him more money than anyone else. It's possible they'll offer him an extension. "This is a big transition for him and helping him settle in is important," general manager Chris Grant said. "Once we get through all that then we can sit down and talk about what the future looks like." ... The Sixers waived backup C Daniel Orton. ... Sixers G Tony Wroten (flu) didn't make the trip. He also missed Monday's game.