Cavaliers add forward Williams for stretch run

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NEW YORK: Defending NBA champion Cleveland added more support for superstar LeBron James on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), signing forward Derrick Williams to a contract for the remainder of the season.

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Cavaliers general manager David Griffin announced the move after Williams, 25, had played out his second 10-day contract and inked a $268,000 deal.

Williams, a three-time All-Star who was released by Miami early last month, has averaged 10.3 points on 56.1 percent shooting from the floor and 3.1 rebounds over nine games for Cleveland.

The move caps a busy week for the Cavaliers, who added Australian center Andrew Bogut and guard Deron Williams to bolster the squad as they try to defend the title they won last June by downing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Williams, the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 25 games with the Heat before joining the Cavaliers.

“I put myself into a 10-day contract to really prove myself to the guys on this team. So far it has been great,” Williams said.

In his sixth NBA season, Williams has appeared in 410 games with Minnesota, Sacramento, New York, Miami and Cleveland and owns career averages of 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was suspended for one game by the NBA for bumping a game official.

NBA executive vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe announced the suspension one day after Budenholzer made contact with a game official with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter of the Hawks’ 135-130 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Budenholzer was angry that Cavs superstar LeBron James was not called for an offensive foul late in the third quarter, and made contact with a referee while arguing from the sideline.

He was assessed a technical foul and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving made the technical foul free throw.

AFP

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