Irving, Varejao power Cavs to season-opening win vs. Wiz
Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and Anderson Verajao racked up a career-high 23 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers staved off a late game collapse to defeat the Washington Wizards, 94-84, in Tuesday’s season opener at Quicken Loans Arena.
Coming off his Rookie of the Year campaign last season, Irving opened the new season with a bang as he went 11-for-20 from the field and 3-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Varejao was also a monster in the shaded lane, recording 23 points and 9 points in 38 minutes. The Brazilian hustle player also dished out nine dimes, two of which came in the final two minutes.
With Irving and Varejao leading the way, the Cavaliers led by as much as 16 points in the third quarter but this advantage did not last for long.
The Wizards, who opened the season without John Wall and Nene, pulled off a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Jennero Pargo capped the rally with trey to give the Wizards a 76-74 lead at 8:12 mark of the fourth.
Unfortunately for Washington, the Cavs finally have a bunch of guys to lean on in tough moments. Irving delivered two crucial buckets down the stretch and Varejao continued to wreak havoc on the boards, steering the Cavs to a victory in their season-opener.
Despite turning the ball over 20 times, the Cavs nevertheless got enough contributions from their rookie guard Dion Waiters (17 points) and Tristan Thompson (12 points and 10 boards).
Jordan Crawford recorded 11 points and Emeka Okafor had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 swats in a losing effort for the Wizards.