Final Dime: Cavaliers 100, Wizards 93
J.J. Hickson notched his 28th double-double of the season in Wednesday's win at The Q.
David Liam Kyle
The Cavaliers closed the season in style – wrapping up with their second straight victory, an emotional 100-93 win on Fan Appreciation Night at The Q.
The Wizards led by a dozen after one quarter, but Cleveland cut that deficit down to three headed into intermission. Washington still didn’t relinquish their edge in the third, but when Luke Harangody’s three-pointer gave the Cavaliers a 78-76 lead early in the fourth, the Wine and Gold had taken control of the game.
Washington attempted to catch the Cavs down the stretch, but Ramon Sessions notched nine of his game-high 27 points in the final 6:24 of the game – putting Cleveland’s 19th and final win of the season on ice.
“It was a good way to close out the season: winning our last game on the road and the last game at home and winning in front of our fans,” said Coach Byron Scott. “Our fans, all season long, have been unbelievable and they were again tonight so it was good for us, and it was great that we were able to win this game; not only for us, but for our fans as well.”
Sessions, the Cavaliers’ steadiest player this season, finished 8-of-13 from the floor and 11-of-12 for his 27 points, adding four boards and three assists.
J.J. Hickson capped his season’s second-half surge – doubling up with 15 points and 13 boards. Ryan Hollins also closed the season strong – adding 12 points, six boards and a pair of blocks – going just 2-of-3 from the floor but a perfect 8-for-8 from the stripe.
Daniel Gibson rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 10 points off the bench. Luke Harangody came off Byron Scott’s bench to go 3-for-5 from long-distance.
“When it comes to the support of their team, there’s no city that’s better,” praised Gibson on Fan Appreciation Night. “They’re always in our corner, regardless of how many games we win or whatever. They are always going to fight for us and that’s why we are always going to play as hard as we have and we will this upcoming season.”
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 42 percent from the floor compared to Washington’s 43 percent. But the Wine and Gold made 29 trips to the line, converting 25 free throws. The Wizards were 11-of-15 from the stripe on Wednesday.
With a sellout crowd bringing it on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers closed out the campaign on a high note. They will enter into one of the most eagerly-anticipated off-seasons in franchise history.
2. Before Wednesday’s game, the Cavaliers named this year’s recipient of the “Austin Carr Good Guy Award” – awarded by the Cleveland chapter of the Pro Basketball Writer’s Association to the Cavalier who is cooperative and understanding of the media.
The winner was the pro’s pro – Antawn Jamison – who showed incredible patience with the media, especially during the 26-game losing streak. Previous winners of the award include Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Damon Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamario Moon.
3. Baron Davis was given the final night of the season off because of back spasms. Davis missed three games with back spasms earlier this month and played some heavy minutes in Cleveland’s previous three games. Coach Scott just wanted to rest him for precautionary measures.
4. After getting his first start as a Cavalier on Monday night in Detroit, Semih Erden missed Wednesday’s matchup with Washington with soreness in his right heel. Erden will have offseason shoulder surgery in order to come to Camp healthy.
5. The Cavaliers closed out the regular season with a 19-63 record, but finished 6-6 over their last dozen games. Cleveland’s final mark on the road was 7-34 and 12-29 at home.
6. Midway through the second quarter, the Lake Erie Monsters were honored in recognition of the team’s first-ever trip to the AHL Playoffs. The entire team, plus coaches and their general manager, got a huge ovation. (During the quarter, Coach Dave Quinn, a huge basketball fan, sat in on the broadcast with Fred and AC.) The first round begins this weekend at The Q, with Game 1 against the Manitoba Moose set for Saturday at noon.
7. No team in the league has improved their offensive output from March to April like the Cavaliers – who have improved from 91.1 points per game to 101.4 – a 10.3-point improvement.
8. Since 1986-87, only three Cavaliers have averaged 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in a month – Brad Daugherty (who did so 11 times), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (February 2005) and J.J. Hickson, who averaged 20.1 points and 12.1 boards in the month of April.
9. J.J. wrapped up the 2011-12 season with six straight double-doubles – doubling-up 27 times in his last 46 games.
10. On Wednesday night, the Cavaliers closed the book on an unprecedented era in franchise history as Joe Tait called his last game. The 39-year “Voice of the Cavaliers” and recent Hall of Fame inductee called the 3,382nd game of his illustrious career before calling it quits. During the game’s final seconds, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played as fans gave Joe a standing ovation.
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.