Meanwhile, with each stinging loss, the Cleveland Cavaliers move
further from a shot at the playoffs.
The Wizards surged in the fourth quarter Sunday in a 96-83 win over
the Cavaliers before 17,238 at Quicken Loans Arena.
All-Star point guard John Wall was outstanding for the Wizards
(28-28), finishing with 21 points and nine assists, both game highs.
"We're a team right now that's just trying to play the right way and
get on a roll," Wall said. "We played team basketball and tried our
best to try and stop Kyrie Irving and not let him take over like he
has been doing in the past."
Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal added 17 points and five
Washington's starting backcourt totally outplayed its Cleveland
counterpart, posting a 38-21 scoring advantage.
Irving, the Cavaliers' point guard, finished with 15 points, five
rebounds and five assists. He made just six of 17 shots from the
field, leaving him 9-for-33 over his past two games.
His sidekick, shooting guard Jarrett Jack, wasn't any better. Jack
ended with six points on 3-of-11 shooting.
"At the end of the day, it's about competing for 48 minutes," Irving
said. "Time is of the essence right now. There needs to be a better
sense of urgency."
The Cavaliers (22-35) picked the worst time for the injury bug to
hit, as they played without starting center Anderson Varejao (back),
shooting guard Dion Waiters (knee) and swingman C.J. Miles (ankle).
"We will survive," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.
He admits that he checks the standings from time to time, even
though he forever remains in the one-game-at-a-time mode.
The Cavaliers were still in the game after the third quarter,
However, it all came crashing down in the fourth, as they were
outscored 18-11 while shooting 21 percent from the field (4-for-19).
Cleveland got just two field goals from a starting player in the
fourth, both by forward Luol Deng. The other four starters were a
combined 0-for-9 in the period.
"The ball was sticking in one area," Brown said. "We had some open
looks that we normally hit. We didn't move the ball at times.
Washington made us pay."
The Cavaliers, who lost their second game in a row after a six-game
winning streak, were exploited by the Wizards behind the 3-point
arc. The Wizards hit eight of 20 shots from long distance (40
percent). The Cavaliers made just two of 18 from 3-point range (11.1
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Waiters and Miles are two of their top 3-point specialists on the
"We miss them," Brown said. "That's part of the NBA. We have to have
guys step up and take advantage of the opportunities."
But they are not.
"Each game means something," Brown said. "We control what's in front
of us. We can't afford to have the lulls like we have now and expect
Wizards center Marcin Gortat was very effective around the basket
with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Washington forward
Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Washington committed just five turnovers in the game, just one by
Wall in 35 minutes.
"There are so many things we have to figure out — new pieces, guys
missing — but we're not going to use that as an excuse," Irving
said. "We just have to go out there and play basketball.
"I just have to raise my level, which I will do. We still have a
goal in mind that we want to accomplish, and we're going to do
everything in our power to do it."
Despite shooting 4-for-13, Deng paced the Cavaliers with 17 points
and seven rebounds. Power forward Tristan Thompson added 11 points
and 12 rebounds. Newcomer Spencer Hawes added 16 points and 12
rebounds for the Cavaliers.
"I felt a lot better tonight, especially offensively," Hawes said.
"I'm kind of picking up guys' tendencies with the offense and I'm
not running around asking guys where I need to be. (Brown) has done
a great job of just simplifying (the offense), and the guys have
been helping me on the fly."
The Cavaliers shot just 38.5 percent from the field. The Wizards
made 42.7 percent of their shots.
"That was one of our better 48 minutes defensively," Wittman said.
"You get yourself to the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter and
you're built an eight-point lead, you have to win it defensively."
NOTES: Wizards PF Nene was knocked out of the game in the third
quarter with a sprained left knee. Coach Randy Wittman said Nene
would have an MRI exam. ... Cavaliers coach Mike Brown on
37-year-old G Andre Miller, who was acquired by the Wizards last
week: "He's never relied on his quickness or athleticism to get by.
Everything is about angles, intelligence and his ability to pass and
read. He can help anybody. He'll definitely help Washington." ...
F/C Arinze Onuaku signed a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers on
Saturday. He was sent to Canton of the NBA Development League on
Saturday night, then was recalled by Cleveland on Sunday morning. He
did not see action against the Wizards. ... The Wizards evened their
road record at 14-14. Wittman said that was the biggest difference
in the team's resurgence.
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