Cavaliers lose sixth straight falling to Wizards 124-112
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - With 10 games left before the NBA’s All-Star break, the Cleveland Cavaliers may already be looking forward to the week-plus long layoff. Entering Thursday night’s matchup with the Washington Wizards, the Cavs had lost five games in a row and 10 of their last 12 outings.
Prior to Thursday’s contest, though, Cavs head coach John Beilein said his team had a good practice the day before and a productive shootaround the day of the game. It didn’t show against Washington later that night, as the Cavs fell to the Wizards 124-112 in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
The Wizards were coming off an overtime loss in Miami the night before, and it looked early like the Cavs were going to take advantage of Washington’s tired legs. When Cavs shooting guard Collin Sexton threw down a dunk with 7:15 remaining in the first quarter, Cleveland had jumped out to an 18-6 lead. The lead, however, was short lived.
The Wizards immediately put together a 13-0 run, capped by a Thomas Bryant dunk that gave the Washington its first lead of the evening, 19-18 with 3:58 to play in the first. The Wizards extended the lead and took a 29-24 advantage into the second quarter.
When Washington started the second quarter with an 11-2 run to take a 40-26 lead, the game had completely flipped. The Cavs were in scramble mode at that point, battling to keep the contest within reach before halftime, which they trailed 68-61 heading into.
“Washington certainly didn’t look like they coming off a long travel day and a back-to-back,” Beilein said. “They shot the heck out of it once we got out to that early lead…we couldn’t stop them.”
Matters didn’t get much better for the Cavs in the third quarter. When Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal coasted down the lane for an easy layup with 3:43 remaining in the quarter, Washington extended its lead to its largest margin at that point, 92-76. Cleveland trailed by as many as 20 points in the quarter and by a 100-86 deficit heading into the fourth.
“First of all, it’s their transition game,” Beilein said about the Wizards ability to score in bunches. “They really get the ball out of the net quickly and get up and put pressure on the rim with everybody…they have a lot of guys that can score the ball, and their tempo is I think fourth or fifth in the league right now. They just get up and get shots quickly.”
Sexton led the Cavs with 29 points, while Kevin Love added 21 points and five rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. totaled a career-high tying 22 points (10-of-14 shooting from the field) and 12 rebounds off the Cavs bench, his fifth double-double of the season.
The Cavs had plenty of difficulty containing Beal on Thursday. The Wizards shooting guard finished with 36 points and seven assists against Cleveland.
Cavs rookie point guard Darius Garland didn’t have a great shooting night, going 4-of-17 from the field for 13 points; but he did reach double figures in scoring for the 14th straight game, which is the longest active streak among all NBA rookies. Garland also made a three-pointer in his 14th straight game, which is also the longest active streak among rookies.
While the Cavs likely won’t have an All-Star representing the team this season, several of their young potentials should find their into the Rising Stars Challenge, a game that showcases the top first- and second-year players. They’ll continue to make their case for inclusion on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls.
POSTED 01/23/2020 22:17