CLEVELAND — After the first, second and third three-pointers went down for C.J. Miles, the rhythm was established and he had just one recurring question.
“How do I get open and get another one?” Miles said after he scored 34 points and set a franchise record with 10 three-pointers in the Cavaliers’ 111-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. “You feel like all you have to do is get a look at the basket and it’s going to go in. It feels like you’re in the gym by yourself.”
On a day Kyrie Irving returned and the Cavaliers traded for Luol Deng, Miles commanded the night. He made his first six 3-pointers, set a franchise record for most in a half (8) and fell 6 points shy of his career scoring high.
Miles didn’t know he had tied the previous record of 8 until Mike Brown pulled him late in the third quarter with the Cavs ahead by 28. Jarrett Jack told him about the record, but Miles wasn’t sure he’d get back in the game. Brown put him back in for the fourth quarter and Miles made two more before departing for good with seven minutes left.
Miles struggled miserably when Brown first inserted him into the starting lineup, but his shot has started returning in recent games. He scored 21 points in a loss against the Pacers, but shot 8-for-13.
“I think he just settled in,” Brown said. “We talked about it and I told him I didn’t want him forcing anything. I thought early on (as a starter) he was anxious and he forced a few shots, which messed with his rhythm a little bit. He has just gotten to a point he has settled down and is taking great shots for us.”
Deng is expected to join the team on Wednesday, but the Cavs didn’t need him to win for just the third time in their last 11 games. The Sixers were playing their fifth game in seven nights and it showed.
The Cavs shot 52 percent, made 13 3-pointers as a team and led by 18 after the first quarter one night after the Sixers surrendered 16 3-pointers in a loss at Minnesota on Monday. The lead swelled to 31 in the fourth and the Cavs cruised to their most lopsided win of the season.
Irving had 16 points and 8 assists after missing three games with an injured left knee, Anderson Varejao had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Dion Waiters set a career high with 8 assists off the bench.
Rookie Michael Carter-Williams had a career-high 33 points for the Sixers. Thaddeus Young, the reigning Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference, was held scoreless and missed all seven of his attempts.
After losing so many close games at home recently and sliding within 3 ½ games of the league’s worst record, the Cavs enjoyed a rare blowout. Their largest margin of victory previously this season was 15 points against the New York Knicks.
“I’ll take that every night,” Brown said. “I don’t think we’ve been playing bad basketball. We’ve lost some close games that bother you, but we’ve done some things that make you think we can have a chance. ... It’s a long season. I think our guys understand it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Hopefully we can keep doing those things.”
Deng is expected to practice with the Cavaliers on Wednesday and Thursday before the team departs on a five-game West Coast trip. The first stop is Friday night at the Utah Jazz.
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