Timberwolves fall just short
CLEVELAND — Shooting guard C.J. Miles had 19 points and five rebounds to help the Cavaliers hand the Minnesota Timberwolves their first loss of the season, 93-92, Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Miles connected on 8-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from the 3-point line.
Point guard Kyrie Irving added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Cavs (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Free-agent acquisition Kevin Martin led all scorers with 23 points for the Timberwolves (3-1), who played a rough and tumble game in New York on Sunday.
Power forward Kevin Love, who came into the game leading the league in scoring (29.7 points per game) and second in rebounding (14.7), got off to a slow start. Still, he ended with 17 points and 13.
Love missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer that was off the rim.
The Wolves whittled a 23-point deficit to three points with 1:16 left in the game, 93-90, on small forward Corey Brewer’s layup.
Love’s layup with 35.9 seconds left brought the Wolves to within one point, 93-92.
The Cavs had eight turnovers in the fourth quarter, which contributed to the Wolves outscoring them, 31-17.
Cavs center Anderson Varejao had 12 points and six rebounds, while power forward Tristan Thompson added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cavs shot 45.9 percent from the field, compared to the Wolves’ 36.2 percent. The Cavs outrebounded Minnesota, 49-43.
Brewer and power forward Derrick Williams each had 13 for the Wolves.
The 6-foot-10, 243-pound Love had 12 points and 10 rebounds after three quarters, as the Wolves trailed, 76-61.
Cavs center Andrew Bynum had eight points and three rebounds through three quarters. He played more minutes through three quarters on Monday (12) than he did in the previous two games (11).
He finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
Miles scored 10 consecutive points for the Cavs in the second quarter. The Cavs led by 16 points, 47-31, midway through the second.
They led 55-38 at halftime. They destroyed the Wolves on the boards, 27-12.
All the Wolves starters played at least 40 minutes on Sunday in New York. It looked like they had little left on Monday.
Miles had 12 points at halftime and Varejao added 10 points and four rebounds.
For the Wolves, Ohio native Martin had 16 points. He was 4-for-5 from the 3-point arc in the first half.
Bynum recorded his season high in the first quarter with six quick points. He was 4-for-4 from the foul line.
Irving had seven points, three rebounds, four assists and one steal in the first quarter to help the Cavs take a 31-23 advantage.
Notes: Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum said he has concerns whether the explosiveness will ever return to his game. He was once one of the most athletic big men in the NBA. “It makes you have to rely more on your footwork and skills,” he said. He said his next step is playing more minutes in games. He came into Monday’s game averaging 9.2 minutes per game. ... Timberwolves forward Kevin Love was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Oct. 29 to Nov. 3. He entered Monday leading the NBA in scoring at 29.7 points per game and was second with 14.7 rebounds. “It’s cool,” Love said. “I’m a little surprised I’ve never won it before. I want to thank my teammates and coaches. It’s a testament to us winning.” ... Cavs forward Anthony Bennett came into Monday’s game 0-for-12 from the field. One of his misses in Indiana on Saturday came on a fast break that he tried to finger roll instead of dunk. “I told him, ‘Go out and be the animal you were in college,’ “ coach Mike Brown said. ... A league source said the Cavs have signed forwards Michael Lee, Kevin Jones and Tyrell Biggs to their D-League team in Canton, Ohio.