Well, that wasn’t the message the Wizards were trying to send.
LeBron James scores 33 points to go along with 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Cavaliers erased a 17-point fourth quarter deficit and beat the Wizards, 119-115. #WizardsKiller Jeff Green scored 21 points and Kevin Love was on fire with all 16 of his points in the first half for the Cavaliers team as they win the season series against the Wizards 3-1.
After a slow start to this one and a 13-point deficit after one quarter, Washington got into a rhythm in the second period and was able to claw their way back in this one starting on the defensive end. Washington was turning Cleveland over and made them pay for their mistakes on the other end as the Wizards shot 63 percent in the quarter and cut the deficit to five, 59-54 at the break.
The good Wizards, the ‘everybody eats’ Wizards were on display until the midway point of the fourth quarter as they were able to build the lead out to 17, 104-87 in what looked like an inevitable victory.
But defensive lapses, hero ball, and LeBron being LeBron would flip that narrative as the Cavs complete the comeback and beat Washington, 119-115.
The good and the ugly from John Wall
We got the good, the bad, and the ugly from John Wall this evening. Let’s start with the good. Wall scored a team-high 28 points on 10-20 shooting to go along with 14 assists and three steals in just his third game back from injury.
Wall looked like the Wallstar of old as he was pushing the ball early on in this one and wasn’t settling for jumpers and attacking the hole. Not only that, he dished out six assists to go along with his 10 points (all from close in) all in the first quarter.
He looked to run in transition and it didn’t look like his knee was bothering him tonight as he found Beal on the wing for a transition three on multiple occasions.
But with the Wizards up 17 in the fourth quarter, that’s when the bad habits started to rear their ugly heads – as in hero ball and turnovers. Wall and the Wizards reverted back to their hero ball ways late in the fourth quarter. The ball would stop moving and Wall would pound the ball into the floor only to force up a fadeaway jumper as the shot clock wound down.
And the turnovers. Wall, who was careful with the ball for most of the evening, had two very costly turnovers late in the game. He got his pass picked off by LeBron leading to an easy transition opportunity as the Cavs were mounting their comeback. And with the Wizards down just two with seconds to play, rather than attacking the hole, Wall pulled back and tried to find Morris at the top of the key for three only to get his pass picked off.
Wall was 10-20 from the field tonight and just looking at his shot chart, you can tell pretty easily as to which shots came at what point in the game.
Washington forgets about Otto Porter in the fourth quarter
As Washington started playing hero-ball, Otto Porter went missing. Porter scored 18 tonight on 8-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. He scored 12 points in the first half, mainly of midrange jumpers. In the third quarter, Porter got going by creating his own opportunities by either slashing to the cup or crashing the offensive glass for a tip in.
But then, Porter went missing. As the ball stopped moving, Porter stopped getting opportunities evidenced as he didn’t score in the fourth quarter. Say what you want about Porter’s ability to create, however, Washington still needs to run sets for him to keep him involved in the offense.
- Mike Scott was terrific off the bench with 12 points in addition to knocking down his only two three-point attempts
- Kelly Oubre’s shot remains missing (2-9) but he played a much better game on the defensive end
Up Next: Washington heads home to take on the sub .500 Hawks as the regular season can’t end soon enough for this team.