June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Cavs: Team ousted in Las Vegas

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers were eliminated from the inaugural Las Vegas Summer League championship tournament on Saturday.

Power forward Justin Harper scored 21 points and shooting guard Jermaine Taylor added 20, but Cleveland was beaten 82-76 by the Miami Heat in the quarterfinals at Thomas & Mack Center.

Former Cavaliers small forward D.J. Kennedy, Jarvis Varnado and James Nunnally had 13 points apiece to pace the Heat, which never trailed and led by as many as 15 points.

Shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller were given the day off by Cavaliers summer league coach Jamahl Mosley, leaving second-round draft pick Carrick Felix as the only NBA roster player in uniform.

Arizona State product Felix started at small forward and scored two points for Cleveland, which finished league play with a 3-2 record. Waiters’ cousin, point guard Scoop Jardine, played 10 scoreless minutes in his debut.

Australian rookie Matthew Dellavedova made his second straight start at point guard, but only collected three points and four assists. Former Charlotte Bobcats backup Cory Higgins had 17 points and two helpers off the bench.

The Cavaliers are likely to extend a training camp invitation to either Dellavedova or Higgins as they search for a third-string point guard behind All-Star Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack.

NBA veterans Taylor and Harper also helped their causes of returning to the league this fall, either with Cleveland or elsewhere.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was in attendance all week in an advisory role, as was assistant general manager David Griffin, while general manager Chris Grant flew in and out of Nevada to complete contract negotiations with center Andrew Bynum.

Irving, Waiters and Zeller will continue their busy offseason today, when they report to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team minicamp. Only 27 players were invited by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, all of whom are under consideration for future FIBA and Olympic tournament play.

The five-day event takes place on the campus of Nevada-Las Vegas and will be directed by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, and New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com