The Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Washington Wizards Wednesday night, and won 87-84. Cleveland struggled with rebounding and shooting, but strong performances from Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson allowed them to overcome deficits in these categories.
Washington opened the game 22-10, but Irving single-handedly brought the Cavaliers back into contention. He had 20 points and five assists at the break, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. The rest of the team was 9-of-33 at that point.
Kyrie went cold in the second half, and only had six points on 1-of-10 shooting. Tristan Thompson stepped up big time, and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He was a big part of the 9-0 run in the fourth quarter that put Cleveland up 82-79. They would eventually go on to cap off the game and win 87-84.
Okafor and Nene caused trouble all night combining for six blocks, 17 rebounds, and 33 points on 14-of-24 shooting. Tyler Zeller who started in place of injured Anderson Varejao was not able to effectively play against them on offense or defense. Zeller finished with six points and seven boards.
Along with Marshall Webster’s 12 point, 10 rebound performance, the Wizards demonstrated Varejao’s importance. Without his tenacity in the paint, Cleveland was outrebounded 51-38, and struggled to make baskets down low.
Another important area that allowed Cleveland to overcome their poor shooting and rebounding was their lack of turnovers. They committed 10 while Washington gave the ball away twenty times.
With this victory the Cavaliers have their first two-game winning streak since March. Also, this second win comes from a 3-23 Wizards team. Nothing that is too impressive. To make it slightly worse, the game was a struggle for Cleveland.
Cleveland will now attempt to extend their streak to three when the Atlanta Hawks (17-9) come to town Friday Night. Game tips at 7:30 PM ET.
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