Cleveland (WSYR-TV/AP) – Former Syracuse University player Dion Waiters scored 17 points in his NBA debut as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their season opener over the Washington Wizards 94-84 Tuesday night.
Kyrie Irving scored 29 points for the Cavaliers and Anderson Varejao scored a career high 23 points in the win.
The Cavs led by 16 in the third quarter but needed big plays from Irving and Varejao in the final minutes to hold off the Wizards. Varejao had a career-high nine assists, two setting up dunks by Tristan Thompson in the last two minutes.
Jordan Crawford scored 11 points to lead the Wizards, who were without star point guard John Wall, power forward Nene and forward Kevin Seraphin. Wall, the former No. 1 overall pick, is expected to be out until late November with a knee injury.
Waiters was selected No. 4 overall in the NBA Draft in June. He was one of only a handful of Orange players drafted in the top five, an elite group that includes Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Coleman.