On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers(21-45) lost their eighth straight game as they fell to the Portland Trailblazers(37-29) 141-105 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Cleveland ended their five-game homestand 0-5.
Damian Lillard had a game-high 32 points, including six threes for Portland. Kevin Love led the Cavs with 18 points.
However, this night was about the return of Anderson Varejao. The 38-year-old Varejao, who signed a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers this week, had one point, six rebounds, and one assist in seven minutes against the Blazers. This was Varejao’s first action in over two years(played in Brazil), his first time playing with the Cavs since 2016, and his first time on an NBA court since 2017.
Varejao spent the first 12 years of his career with the Cavaliers and kept a home in Cleveland after his time with the Cavs was over.
When he entered the game midway through the fourth quarter, Varejao got a rousing ovation from the Cavalier faithful. After the loss to the Blazers, Varejao reacted to his return to the NBA.
“It felt great to be out there again,” Varejao said. “As I said before, I love Cleveland; I love the fans. Once again, they gave me the support I needed tonight.
“It has been a while that I played five-on-five or any type of contact in basketball in almost two years, but it felt great to be out there. To be honest with you, I was really surprised the way I felt.”
The 13-year veteran was also happy to have his wife and young daughter watch him play on Wednesday night.
“My family was at the game,” Varejao said. “That was just very special for me to have my wife and my little daughter, Serenee, she’s one years old. I’m not going to forget this day. This is the first time I played in front of my daughter. Special day for me.”
You have to feel happy for Varejao. Not many players get the opportunity to end their career where it started and the chance to play in front of their family. Varejao is getting all of that right now.
Cleveland hopes to break their eight-game losing streak in Dallas against the Mavericks on Friday night.