Wizards vs. Cavaliers final score: New contributors come up big in Washington’s 119-106 win

First impressions are everything.

Bobby Portis — yes, the Bobby Portis that the Wizards traded for on Wednesday — scored 30 points off the bench in his Washington debut as the Wizards took down the Cavs, 119-106 on Friday night. Bradley Beal turned in another outstanding performance with 25 points while the other newest Wizard, Jabari Parker got in on the fun with a near triple-double with 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Like we’ve seen many times this year, the Wizards had a ho-hum approach to start this game. They looked lifeless and didn’t get much energy from the crowd (can you blame them?), but the game got turned upside down when the newest Wizards, Portis, and Parker entered the game.

Parker hit his first shot as a Wizard, a corner three. Portis one-upped him by making his first 6 shots en route to a 16-point opening period. The spark from Portis and Parker carried over into the second quarter as the Wizards took a 66-52 lead into halftime. Then, Washington made three consecutive 3-pointers to open the second half on a 9-0 run. It looked like Washington might usher this game to a quick ending, but no lead is safe in Washington, regardless of who is donning a uniform for the team. Cleveland outscored Washington 29-15 the rest of the third quarter and cut the lead to four early in the fourth.

Then, after missing his first seven three-point attempts, Trevor Ariza finally connected from three-point range to give the Wizards some breathing room. The next time down the floor, Tomas Satoransky drove into the lane and kicked it to who else, Bobby Portis, who knocked down the 3-pointer to get to 30 points on the night and shut the door on Cleveland’s comeback bid.

Washington cruised the rest of the way to a 119-106 victory to end their two-game losing skid.

Takeaways

How about that for a first impression?

You know what they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. The former Bulls sent over in the Otto Porter trade had just about the best debut you could have hoped for against Cleveland.

Portis looked tentative on his first possession in a Wizards uniform when he turned the ball over, but that’s about the only thing he did wrong this evening. He hit a floater in the lane midway through the first quarter that opened the floodgates. He had a pick-and-pop rhythm with Beal which led to a pair of open 3-pointers for Portis in the early going.

He finally missed a shot in the second quarter but finished the half with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Parker also had an impressive debut and got things going by knocking down a corner three just seconds after entering the game. He looked more hesitant to shoot compared to what we’ve seen in Milwaukee and Chicago, but he made it a priority to get his teammates involved early and often. He had seven first half assists, including a behind-the-back pass to Trevor Ariza for the dunk and foul.

Bradley Beal turns in another gem

Beal started out the game slowly, as a scorer. He was a facilitator early on, getting six assists in the first quarter prior to attempting his first shot of the game late in the period. After putting up 12 points and nine assists in the first half, Beal went into scoring mode to start the second half. He connected on back-to-back three-pointers from the same spot as Washington started the period on a quick 9-0 run. He ended the evening with a near triple-double, racking up 25 points and 13 assists to go along with 6 rebounds.


Next up: Portis and Parker will get a chance to show off their new uniforms in Chicago as the Wizards face the Bulls on Saturday at 8 pm Eastern Time.

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Wizards vs. Cavaliers final score: Washington’s late rally isn’t enough to avoid 116-113 loss to Cleveland

Let’s be real, no one thought the Wizards turned the corner when they went 7-3 after losing John Wall to a season-ending heel injury. But there was reason to think they turned corner after winning 8 of their last 13 games. If nothing else, it looked like they had enough to sneak back into a playoff spot.

On Tuesday, Washington looked just like the lottery-bound team they looked like for most of the first two months of the season in a 116-113 loss to the league’s worst team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although Washington only lost by three points, they spent most of the night down by double digits. They were in an 88-69 hole after three quarters of basketball which we are probably better off never speaking of again.

The game only got interesting after Washington waived the white flag. Scott Brooks emptied the bench with 7:50 left after the Cavaliers took a 25-point lead. Two-way player and former Cavalier Jordan McRae poured in 15 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and Gary Payton II added 11 as the Wizards went on a 33-14 run to put themselves in a position to force overtime.

Washington had the ball down 3 with 11 seconds left. Brooks stuck with the reserve unit that brought them back into the game rather bring the starters back in for the final possession. He put the ball in rookie Troy Brown Jr.’s hands to make a play, but Cedi Osman knocked the ball away to keep Washington from extending the game any further.

Takeaways

Washington was ice-cold from the field in the first half

The arctic blast making its way through the Midwest felt like an apt metaphor for Washington’s offense in the first half. The final numbers aren’t nauseating thanks to Washington’s late rally, but it was just an ugly offensive performance following one of their best outings of the season on Sunday against the Spurs.

The Wizards shot 39.5 percent (17-of-43) from the field in the first half and trailed 53-47 at halftime as a result. Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza combined for 27 of Washington’s 47 points in the half and outside of Jeff Green who had seven, no other Wizards player scored more than four points in the half.

On top of the poor shooting, the Wizards struggled to get to the rim. The Cavs outscored the Wizards 28-8 in the paint in the first half and had 11 layups or dunks, compared to just 3 for Washington.

Defense. Defense? Defense?!

Remember how the Wizards looked much improved over the last few weeks on the defensive end? Yeah, we can stop all of that chatter. The defense was bad tonight, really bad.

The Cavs came into this game averaging 102.4 points per game — and they cracked the 100-point mark just three minutes into the fourth quarter. This wasn’t about scheme, wasn’t about X’s and O’s, this was about effort — and the Wizards had none until it was too late.

Ante Zizic and Cedi Osman bullied Thomas Bryant and Jeff Green from the beginning and Washington’s front-court duo didn’t have a response. To make matters worse, the Wizards didn’t have an answer for Jordan Clarkson either who scored 28 points tonight in a quasi-revenge game.

This play sums it all up.

Next up: The Wizards will try to get back on track against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at 8 pm. Oddly enough, Washington is much better on the back end of back-to-backs (6-2) then they are on the front end (1-8).

Wizards at Cavs final score: LeBron and Cleveland erase a 17-point fourth quarter deficit, beat the Wiz 119-115

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.

Tip Ins

  • 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.

Wizards at Cavs final score: Washington executes down the stretch, downs Cleveland 110-103

With less than one minute to play and the shot clock winding down, Bradley Beal drove by his man slicing through the lane for the layup as the Wizards hang on to beat the Cavaliers, 110-103.

Beal led the way for Washington with 18 points and Tomas Satoransky wasn’t far behind with 17 points and eight assists as Washington wins their first game after the All-Star break and is 10 games above .500 (34-24) for the first time this season.

Kelly Oubre, who’s struggled with his shot over the past month, looked like he may have broken out of his slump as the third year player also chipped in with 17 points and knocked down 3-6 three-point shots.

This was the first home game since the new look Cavs overhauled their roster but it was the Wizards who would have the last laugh.

Washington executes down the stretch

The Wizards used a 16-4 run to stretch their lead to 11 midway through the fourth quarter. But the one-man wrecking ball of LeBron James wouldn’t go down easy as he nearly willed the Cavs to victory scoring all Cleveland points after the 9:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter as James and the Cavs trimmed the Wizards lead to 3, 104-101 with two minutes to play.

With just seconds remaining on the shot clock and under one minute to play, Coach Scott Brooks ran a brilliant after the timeout play where Otto Porter inbounded it to Beal who passed it right back to Porter for a reverse layup and a five-point Wizards lead.

After LeBron barreled his way for an easy bucket, Bradley Beal sliced through the lane for a layup to stretch the Wizards lead to five and keep Cleveland at bay. Satoransky knocked down two free throws late to ice the game as the Wizards come up big late and sneak out of Cleveland with a 110-103 victory.

The tide turned in the second quarter

It looked like things might get ugly for the Wizards in the first quarter. The Cavs were on fire knocking down 61 percent of their shots in the first period and LeBron James looked well on his way to a triple-double with seven points, six assists, and five rebounds through one quarter.

However, the Wizards were able to flip the script starting in the second quarter. The Wizards used an 11-1 run in the second quarter to get back in this one highlighted by back to back three-pointers from Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre to trim Cleveland’s lead to two. Oubre, who has been in a funk for the past month, scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Wizards were able to climb back in this one and regain the lead, 57-54 at halftime.

Another outstanding game from Tomas Satoransky

What more is there to say? Tomas Satoransky continued to impress tonight his time to the tune of 17 points on 6-7 shooting to go along with eight assists. Early in the first quarter as the Cavs were building their lead, Satoransky chipped in with timely buckets to keep the deficit within reach.

He started the second half connecting on a three-pointer to give the Wizards a five points lead and hit a tough fadeaway jumper at the end of the period as the Wizards led by just 3, 82-79.

Sato pitched a near-perfect game tonight; and the cherry on top? He didn’t commit a single turnover in 31 minutes of play.

Tip Ins

  • Everyone ate yet again as the Wizards combined for 29 assists on 44 made baskets
  • The Wizards shot a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line
  • Jodie Meeks continued his improved play with 10 points off the bench

Up Next: Washington heads home to play the Charlotte Hornets tomorrow evening.

LeBron James scores 57 as the Cavs drop the Wizards 130-122

Bradley Beal said earlier this morning that he thought Washington was ‘the best team in the east.’ This past postseason, Beal and Richard Jefferson got in a Twitter beef because he thought the Cavs were ducking them. Well, LeBron James set the record straight tonight.

James scored a season-high 57 points to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Cavs beat the Wizards 130-122 and stop their four-game skid.

Bradley Beal was terrific tonight scoring 36 points on 12-19 shooting tonight however his performance was clearly overshadowed. John Wall had a very rough shooting night as he was just 4-13 from the field for 13 points but did dish out 15 assists.

Washington has struggled mightily on the defensive end this season. And tonight, James and the Cavs blew the lid off.

Washington’s defense was abysmal

The Wizards gave up 121 points to the lowly Suns the other night and you knew that if they didn’t clean things up and quickly, it would be an uphill battle. Well, they did absolutely nothing to make one think they care the slightest bit on the defensive end.

Cleveland was scorching hot from the field in the first quarter going 17-22 from the field as they scored 42 in the opening period. Washington wasn’t locked in, they weren’t rotating, weren’t boxing out, and well, weren’t really doing anything well defensively tonight.

Late in the game, John Wall was the primary defender on James. And although he did an ok job on him, the Wizards never opted to double-team him until after the game was already out of hand. Couple that with coach Scott Brooks’s decision to go with an all-reserve lineup really made you scratch your head at times.

When you give a defensive effort like this, of course, you’ll give up 130 points.

Something is not right with John Wall 

Don’t let Wall’s stat line fool you, he didn’t play that great of a game tonight. Wall’s struggles from the field continue as he was just 4-13 and missed all three of his three-point attempts.

There were a couple of occasions where Wall drove and didn’t get the call so he continued to try and force the issue. As a result, he missed guys for open shots as his head was down trying to barrel through the lane for a call.

Things got uglier when he got to the line. Wall was just 5-12 (42 percent) from the free-throw line tonight. That’s bad. Really, really bad.

Tip Ins

  • Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a career-high 21 points while also knocking down a career-high five three-pointers. Oubre was terrific off of the bench for the Wizards and added a much-needed scoring punch. However, it looks like Oubre might be a little lighter in the wallet after tonight.
  • Mike Scott continued to play well scoring 12 points off the bench. Scott’s hot streak started in Sacramento and has carried over into these past two games. Having an extra big man could be very valuable down the road.
  • Ian Mahinmi is a lost cause and he probably shouldn’t be seeing too much more action. Mahinmi played just 12 minutes tonight but committed two turnovers and racked up four fouls in his limited play. No need to beat a dead horse, you already know, there’s not a whole lot that Mahinmi can do well right now.

Up Next

The Wizards head north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors Sunday night.

The Warriors are sitting back laughing as the rest of the NBA is in scramble mode

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in three years on June 12th. And ever since that day, every team not named the Warriors is scrambling to try and play catch up. The blueprint is out on how to win a championship. Just years ago, a “Big 3” would be enough to get the job done. But as we just recently saw, having three all-stars including LeBron James, was barely enough to keep the Cavaliers from getting swept which would have been the ultimate embarrassment.

A “Big 4” is now required to compete for a championship. And as a result, teams are in full-on scramble mode in trying to orchestrate a team that will give them a fighting chance against the Golden State Warriors over the next few years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made three-straight finals appearances and won one of them. However, in the owner, Dan Gilbert’s mind, that plus “disagreement on the direction of the future” led to the termination of General Manager, David Griffin.

Let’s think about that. A General Manager who made the finals three straight times and under extreme circumstances (having to consult LeBron James on every decision) still wasn’t enough to warrant an extension.

Now that Cleveland is aware that a “Big 3” of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving isn’t enough to compete with the Warriors, they’ve started reaching out to the Pacers and Bulls to gauge the interest of Paul George and Jimmy Butler respectively.

Even with Cleveland’s success, the Cavaliers are still left scrambling as they were trying to acquire star Jimmy Butler from Chicago. After it felt like Kevin Love had found his niche with the Cavs, he’ll now be the centerpiece in all trade talks that the Cavs are involved with.

And remember the Lakers? The lowly Lakers who finished 26-56 this past season? Well, they’re just as much in the mix as Cleveland is. Just last night, The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov (salary dump) to the Nets in exchange for Brooke Lopez and their first round draft pick.

This is significant because with the Lakers expected to draft Lonzo Ball on Thursday night’s draft, they’ve now cleared up roughly $60 million in salary cap space which will allow them to sign one and potentially two max deal free agents in the summer of 2018.

Now that Paul George has made it clear that he’s leaving the Pacers after next year to go to the Lakers, teams are in a bind debating whether they should take a shot on the all-star for one year knowing that he’ll leave or just stay away altogether. About a half a dozen teams are interested in George but realistically, he’s going to be in either a Pacers, Cavaliers, or Lakers uniform next year.

And remember that Lebron James guy? He can also opt out of his deal in the summer of 2018 and has been linked to the Lakers on several occasions. Now the Lakers have the cap space necessary to sign both James and George next summer including other aging stars if they are willing to take pay cuts to form yet another super-team.

To recap: A GM who won a title just one year ago has been fired. The best player in the league is unsettled with the firing of his GM and now looks more likely than ever to leave for L.A. after next year. A perennial all-star has demanded out of his current situation. The Lakers have cleared an enormous amount of cap space to make a run at one, maybe two more free agents. And the NBA season ended just nine days ago.

Not to mention, the Celtics could potential land Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward. The Clippers are now shopping De’Andre Jordan. And the Knicks (yes the Knicks!!!) have started shopping Kristaps Porzingis to gauge the interest level of other teams.

And why all the chaos? Because how the hell else are you going to beat the Golden State Warriors?

Wizards at Cavs Final: Wiz too much for the Cavs in 127-115 win.

Seven Wizards players scored in double-figures — led by John Wall with 37 points andBradley Beal with 27 — as Washington defeated Cleveland, 127-115. Kelly Oubre also chipped in 16 points on 7-8 shooting as the Wizards picked up one of their best road wins of the season to kick off a brutal five-game road swing.

Washington started the game by turning in one of their best quarters of the season, thanks to the hot shooting of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Wall came out looking for his jumper early on and he was knocking them down. Once Wall was in a rhythm, his backcourt mate, Bradley Beal decided that it was his turn to get going. Beal connected on two very tough step-back jumpers as the Wizards started 13-17 from the field.

But John Wall wasn’t done there. Wall stayed in attack mode and finished the quarter a perfect 8-8 from the field with 18 points and five assists as the House of Guards combined for more points (27) than the Cavaliers scored in the quarter (26) as the Wizards took a 40-26 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The hot shooting carried over to the second quarter as the Wizards were able to stretch the lead out to 17. But as expected, the reigning champs would counter. The Wizards had a few lapses on the defensive end leading to two open threes for Kyle Korver in the corner. Then, LeBron started doing LeBron things, driving to the hole for poster dunks and finding his teammates for open shots as the Cavs were able to cut the lead down to six midway through the quarter.

Washington responded with a run of their own as the starting unit came back in to finish the half. The Wizards shot 70 percent in the first half and 5-9 from three-point range as they led 71-61 going into the break.

Again, the champs wouldn’t go down easily. With James on the bench, the Cavs’ reserves made a run to cut the Wizards lead down to 5 heading into the fourth quarter.

The teams traded baskets to start the fourth quarter but the Wizards would clamp down on the defensive end. Kelly Oubre led the charge, turning Cleveland turnovers into points on the other end. His signature play came midway through the fourth quarter as he gathered a Markieff Morris miss for a putback layup to put the Wizards up 10, 117-107.

The Cavs would waive the white flag at the two-minute mark and empty their bench as the Wizards pulled away for an impressive, 127-115 win.

Incredible first quarter from John Wall

We’ve seen some incredible performances from Wall over the years and the first quarter of tonight’s game was right up there. Wall was a perfect 8-8 from the field including 2-2 from three-point range as he scored 18 points and dished out 5 assists in the first quarter. Wall did most of his damage from deep and in the midrange during the first quarter and then attacked the hole later in the game. Wall either scored or assisted on 28 of the Wizards’ 40 first quarter points.

Kelly Oubre’s offense reappears 

Defense hasn’t been the issue for Oubre, his struggles have been on the offensive end. Oubre scored 16 points off the bench, the most he’s scored in months, with most of them coming either on transition layups or putbacks for second chance points. Oubre was a huge spark off the Wizards bench and they needed it considering Bojan Bogdanovic missed the game with back stiffness.

Defense steps up when it matters most

Washington’s defense through the first three quarters was not very good. However, the Wizards stepped up defensively in the fourth quarter when it mattered most. Wall played with intensity, they locked down LeBron James (as much as you can), and turned the Cavs over to seal the victory.

The Wizards’ best fourth quarter defense came with the small lineup of Wall-Beal-Porter-Oubre-Morris on the floor.