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Cleveland Cavaliers

Short-handed Cavs struggle defensively, suffer first loss of preseason to Bobcats

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 15, 2013

CANTON: The Cavaliers’ defense crumbled in the third quarter, allowing the Charlotte Bobcats to shoot 60 percent in the quarter en route to a 92-74 preseason victory over the Cavaliers at Canton Civic Center. It was the Cavs' first loss of the preseason after opening with a pair of victories.

The Cavs were playing without Jarrett Jack (knee), Tyler Zeller (hip) and Anderson Varejao (resting). That left Henry Sims starting at center and Kenny Kadji serving as his backup.

Kyrie Irving had 15 points and 4 assists and C.J. Miles had 15 points off the bench, but the Cavs watched a 42-40 halftime lead disintegrate amid countless defensive breakdowns in the third quarter.

Varejao is still working his way back after missing nearly 10 months following a blood clot in his lung. He said following practice on Monday his conditioning isn’t where he wants it to be, and with the Cavaliers beginning a stretch of three preseason games in five nights, his benching wasn’t all that surprising.

“We have five more preseason games, which is going to be great for me,” Varejao said Monday. “I haven't played in 10 months. I'll be fine in November, but I'm not there yet.”

Alonzo Gee started at small forward, his first appearance of the preseason after dealing with a hamstring injury, but was limited to nine minutes. He did not play in the second half.

Sergey Karasev is away from the team to obtain his work visa, but could be back at practice on Wednesday.

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