CLEVELAND -- Guard Dion Waiters looked to make an impact for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Miami Heat Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena in what was his first start after playing the last 46 games in a reserve role.
And he was doing just that when driving to the hoop late in the Cavaliers' 100-96 loss to the Heat when he was sent hard into the basketball hoop support in front of Miami's bench. Waiters rolled around on the floor for several minutes before walking off under his own power to Cleveland's bench, where he watched the final 25.2 seconds of play.
After the game, Waiters said "everything" was feeling sore.
"I'm sore, man, but I'll be fine," Waiters said. "I'll get treatment in the morning and just continue to move forward.
"Yes, I believe I was fouled, but I didn't get the call, so it's on to the next. There's nothing I could do."
Miami forwards LeBron James and Udonis Haslem converged on Waiters as he drove from the right wing to the middle of the key. As Waiters elevated for the shot attempt, he was driven into the support after absorbing contact from two of the Heat's three front-court players.
As Waiters laid on the court, forward Anderson Varejao committed a foul on Miami's Chris Bosh to stop play. During the stoppage, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown thought about addressing the officials about what looked to be a foul on the Heat.
"As a coach, you kind of get tired of complaining about calls," Brown said. "Officials are human. They're going to make mistakes, and then, they can tell you whatever they want to tell you. I didn't even ask for an explanation. It's up to them to make the call. If they feel like he didn't get hit, whether they felt that or not, after the fact, Miami still won.
"We've just got to try to find a better way to close out games, finish games and not rely on officials' calls because we're not going to get much help in that area. Until you become the Miami Heat or you're a winning team, you might get some calls down the stretch, but it's not worth me asking them why they missed it."
Before the injury, Waiters scored 17 points and handed out 11 assists for his first career double-double, but he was quick to credit his teammates for giving him the opportunity to make plays throughout the game.
"I was just finding my guys and they were knocking down shots for me," Waiters said. "(Jarrett) Jack hit a big three for me, for the team. We were just moving the ball, trying to find the guy who was open, and they were knocking down shots for me."