Cavs Win Nail-Biter in D.C.
Wrap-Up – Wednesday night’s win in Washington was a game the young Cavaliers might have dropped two weeks ago. But behind the Class of 2011 – Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson – the Wine and Gold were able to overcome a pair of double-digit deficits and close out the Wizards, 87-84, in a holiday matchup at the Verizon Center.Irving did most of his damage in the first half – netting 12 of his game-high 26 points in the second quarter. Thompson saved his best for last, scoring on a man-sized three-point play with just over 24 seconds to play to give the Wine and Gold the 85-82 edge. Kyrie Irving split two pairs of free throws to seal the deal.
Kyrie also led everyone with eight assists, grabbed six boards and tallied a pair of steals while turning the ball over just twice. Thompson continued his strong run with Anderson Varjeao nursing a knee injury, doubling-up with 15 points, 12 boards and a blocked shot. Alonzo Gee had a strong all-around game with 10 points, eight rebounds, three helpers and a pair of steals.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers trailed by nine points – 64-55 – with just over five minutes to play in the third, when Alonzo Gee’s defense triggered an 11-2 run that tied the game with 1:11 remaining in the period. Washington re-took the lead, but Kyrie Irving’s two free throws sent both teams into the final period knotted at 68.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – For almost the past two weeks, Thompson has been the Wine and Gold’s most consistent performer. He notched his fourth straight double-double on Wednesday night and has scored in double-figures in five straight. Against Washington, not only did the former Longhorn go 5-of-9 from the floor, but was 5-of-5 from the stripe –including the and-1 with 24 seconds to play that put the Cavaliers in front to stay.
By the Numbers – 12.0, 10.6, .571, .667 … Tristan’s scoring and rebounding averages – along with his field goal and free throw percentage – over the past six games
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the month of December and his squad getting its second straight win …
“The NBA hasn’t done us any favors as far as the schedule. Tonight, you just had two teams that are struggling a little bit, obviously – us and (Washington) – but right now we feel pretty good about the two wins and now it’s trying to just build on them, that’s the biggest thing.”
Up Next – It’s a familiar schedule for the Cavaliers in December: A night off on Thursday followed by a home contest on Friday night – when the Cavs take on the Hawks on Anderson Varejao Wig Night at The Q – and head back to Brooklyn for a Saturday night matchup with the Nets in the final game of 2012. The Wine and Gold’s schedule in January isn’t as hectic or monotonous, but it does feature a five-game, nine-day West Coast trip.