CINCINNATI: It took a little longer than expected, but the initial pairing of Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack was a relative success. In his first game back from a knee injury, Jack had five points and five assists in 10 minutes and Irving scored 19 points in the Cavs’ 101-82 preseason loss to the Washington Wizards at U.S. Bank Arena.
Since it was his first game in more than a week, Jack played only the first quarter and sat the rest of the game. Irving was forced into the shooting guard role for most of his night because Dion Waiters sat with an ankle injury, C.J. Miles missed the game with a leg injury and Sergey Karasev remains sidelined with a sprained ankle, leaving the Cavs woefully thin at shooting guard.
None of the injuries are considered serious and all could play if it was the regular season, but coach Mike Brown isn’t taking any chances. Besides, it gave Brown the opportunity to see Irving and Jack playing together for extended minutes.
Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 14 rebounds in 27 minutes, but he grabbed 10 of those rebounds during eight minutes in the first quarter. Thompson has 30 rebounds in his last two games.
The Cavs led for the bulk of the first three quarters, but Trevor Ariza’s 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave the Wizards a slim 73-72 lead entering the fourth. With another game tonight in Charlotte, the first and only back-to-back of the Cavs’ preseason, Brown spent the fourth quarter on a bunch of players likely to play little or not at all once the regular season begins.
Prior to the game, the Cavs announced they picked up the fourth-year options on Irving and Thompson and the third-year options on Tyler Zeller and Waiters. It was merely a formality, since the Cavs were obviously going to keep all four.
Irving and Thompson will be eligible to sign contract extensions next summer.