Luol Deng’s debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night was a success.
After being acquired in a trade for Andrew Bynum on Monday, Deng scored 10 points in 21 minutes at EnergySolutions Arena, where the Cavs defeated the Utah Jazz, 113-102.
Asked about Deng’s first game with his team, coach Mike Brown said, "I thought it was good. I liked the stuff that he was saying to our guys at halftime, before the game, in the huddles and during the flow of the game.
"You could see the little nuances he has out there, in terms of feel for the game. That’s going to help us dramatically once he gets comfortable and once we get comfortable with him."
Deng needed only 63 seconds to score his first points as a member of the Cavs. He made a quick back-cut and dropped in a layup after taking took a pass from Anderson Varejao.
"I just want to bring in something that we don’t have," Deng said, "whether it’s posting up or defensively getting the guys going. You don’t want to come to a new team and bring something they already have."
Cleveland improved to 3-15 on the road this season by dominating the second half.
Utah owned a 49-46 halftime lead, but Kyrie Irving scored 17 of his team-high 25 points in the third quarter.
"Good game by our guys," said Brown. "I thought, in the second half, our guys really focused and locked in defensively. Because of that, we were able to get some run-outs and easy baskets."
Said Irving: "The second half, we were just feeding off each other’s energy. We picked up the pace on both ends of the floor. That led to some fast-break points ... [and] kind of opened up the game."
Cleveland’s C.J. Miles, who played his first seven NBA seasons with the Jazz, scored 17 points. He had nine in the first quarter.
Miles was coming off a 34-point performance in a 111-93 win over Philadelphia.
"I’m just playing basketball," he said. "I’ve been solid on both ends — doing more than just shooting the basketball. I’ve been able to get out in transition ... [and] I’ve gone to the line."
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