CLEVELAND, OH - C.J. Miles put forth a great effort over the weekend, but couldn't help the Cleveland Cavaliers close out December with a much-needed victory.
The Cavs aim to avoid a third straight setback on Wednesday night when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to town.
Miles became the first player in Cleveland team history to make eight 3- pointers off the bench in Saturday's 103-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The eight shots made from behind the arc also matched a club high and he ended with a season-best 33 points.
"The game slows down and the basket seems as big as the arena," Miles said of his effort from 3-point range. "I tried to make sure I got good looks at the basket to set up a good shot. I did not want to rush and take wild shots. I just made sure I stayed into what we were doing as a team. My teammates looked for me and screened for me."
Tristan Thompson added a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds, but Kyrie Irving had just 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting while also missing a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
That capped a 3-13 month for Cleveland.
"We're playing hard, but there are some growing pains as we're learning how to play. We got off to a slow start, which really didn't help the cause," said Miles, who has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games and is averaging 15.4 points per contest in that span.
Miles should continue to see more minutes with guard Daniel Gibson out with a concussion. Forward Anderson Varejao also missed his sixth straight game with a right knee contusion and is may not be ready to return Wednesday night either.
According to head coach Byron Scott, Varejao only participated in 50 percent for practice with no contact.
"He looked decent today," Scott said of Varejao on Monday. "He was moving okay. He still says when he plants to jump is when he feels the pain, but it's not as severe as it was four or five days ago. Obviously making big-time progress, but we'll see how he feels (Tuesday)."
The Kings hope that the Cavs' struggles can help them land just their second road victory of the season. Sacramento lost its seventh straight as the guest when it dropped a 103-97 decision at Detroit on Tuesday night in the opener of a four-game swing.
Jimmer Fredette hit a 3-pointer that cut a once 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to just one, but the Kings couldn't get the final push and fell to 1-13 on the road this season.
"It's tough to win away from home for us right now," said Fredette, who had 14 points off the bench. "You know, we slipped tonight but we have to get back together and come out for tomorrow's game."
DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Jason Thompson scored 16 points and nabbed six boards.
The Kings did drop a close 93-92 test in their lone meeting with the Cavaliers last season. That took place in Cleveland and saw Irving cap a 23-point performance with a pair of clutch free throws with 0.4 seconds left.
Isaiah Thomas had 23 points, eight boards and 11 assists for the Kings, who have lost 10 of their last 11 versus the Cavs overall and five of their past six trips to Cleveland.
The Sports Network