LAS VEGAS: Within a span of 12 seconds, Dion Waiters learned what it was like to win a game and lose a game in the NBA.
Waiters nailed a big jumper with 12 seconds left to give the Cavs the lead, then tried calling a timeout when they didn’t have any. The result was a technical foul and a 68-64 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Waiters had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in his Cavs debut, but shot just 3 of 11 from the floor. That didn’t matter when he stroked a jumper from 20 feet to give the Cavs a 64-63 lead.
The Bobcats quickly answered with a basket and the Cavs called a timeout. After a quick foul, Donald Sloan inbounded again to Waiters, who was double-teamed instantly. He tried calling a timeout, but the Cavs were out of them.
“I had Kemba on my back and I told (Sloan) to just throw it up to me,” Waiters said. “He didn’t throw it up, so I had to run to the ball. When I went to the ball it was a double team. I put myself in a tough situation and he also put me in a tough situation, but those are the things we’ve got to learn from and come back tomorrow and get it better.”
Waiters said no one in the huddle at the final timeout told him the Cavs were out of them.
“It’s a communication thing for everybody,” Waiters said. “I have to go to Coach and ask how many timeouts do we have in situations like that.”
Cavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley is running the summer league team and took responsibility for not telling the players the team was out of timeouts.
“It’s on me,” Mosley said.
The fact it happened in a summer league game means the consequences were minimal and it proved to be a good learning experience for a rookie player and coach in their first games in new roles.
Waiters turned the ball over three times and missed a number of open jumpers, but showed good vision and an ability to get the ball to guys in space.
Rookie Tyler Zeller had 14 points and five rebounds, displaying terrific range by stepping out to 19 feet to knock down a pair of jumpers.
Samardo Samuels, down 15 pounds from the end of the season, had 10 points and four rebounds.
The Cavs will play the team of NBA Development League players at 8 p.m. on Monday night.