New look Cavs continue to impress with 113-102 exhibition win over Celtics
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Saturday night marked the first time the Cleveland Cavaliers showcased their new squad to their home fans in Quicken Loans Arena — sort of.
The Cavs hosted the Boston Celtics on Saturday in their first home preseason contest of the 2018-19 season with 20 players in uniform, several of which won’t be with the team when the regular season begins. Departures, though, are nothing new for the Cavaliers.
When the Cavs open their regular season on October 17 in Toronto against the Raptors, their roster should look fairly similar to last season’s bunch, but with one blinding omission, LeBron James.
James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason as a free agent, and the Cavs are now tasked with showing their worth without him. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue’s voice will be more important than ever with James in L.A., All-Star power forward Kevin Love will likely resume his role as the top dog on a team and most eyes will be on rookie point guard Colin Sexton, who the Cavs drafted with the eighth-overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Sexton and Love looked good in the Cavs opening preseason win in Boston, each scoring in double-figures. Attempting to start the preseason 2-0 in the second game of the back-to-back with Boston on Saturday, the Cavs cruised to a 113-102 victory.
Several Cavaliers didn’t play on Saturday, including Love, Tristan Thompson, George Hill and Kyle Korver. Other Cavs players picked up the slack, led by Ante Zizic, who finished with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Sexton added 13 points, while Jordan Clarkson chipped-in 12 points and six rebounds.
With the Cavs leading by double-digits for much of the game, most of the fireworks came late in the first quarter. With just under four minutes to play in the first quarter, Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith’s and Celtics center Aron Baynes’ arms got tangled together, and the scuffle led to Smith shoving Baynes in the chest. That led to an altercation between Smith and Boston guard Marcus Smart, who had to be restrained by teammates and was ultimately ejected.
Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris led the Celtics with 17 points each. Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored eight points.
The Cavs third preseason contest will be on Monday against the Indiana Pacers.
POSTED 10/06/2018 23:21