Notebook: Cavaliers 95, Wizards 90



Posted Mar 12, 2013 11:32 PM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 95-90 win over the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Power forward Tristan Thompson added 13 points and a game-best 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who trailed by 13 after the first quarter. Wizards point guard John Wall amassed season-highs of 27 points, seven rebounds and 14 assists, while center Emeka Okafor collected 18 points and 11 rebounds. Washington has the worst road record in the NBA at 5-24.

QUOTABLE: "We just got swept for the season by Cleveland and Detroit, who are good teams and everything, but we felt like we were better than them. Instead, we went 0-7 (combined), which is tough to swallow."
-- Wizards point guard John Wall

THE STAT: The Cavaliers completed a season-series sweep of Washington for the first time since 1991-1992, when the Wizards were known as the Bullets. Cleveland went 2-0 at home and 1-0 on the road against Washington, but only outscored the Wizards by 18 total points. ... The Cavaliers improved to 5-10 this season -- and 9-21 all-time -- without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in uniform. Irving suffered a sprained left shoulder Sunday in Toronto and could miss the rest of the campaign.

TURNING POINT: After the Wizards took an 11-0 lead on three Martell Webster 3-pointers and an Okafor jumper, Cleveland coach Byron Scott benched starters Waiters, Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, and center Tyler Zeller. Scott's strategic move -- just 2:06 into the game -- worked wonders. Waiters, Thompson and Gee played with fire once they returned to the court in the second quarter, combining for 50 points, 22 rebounds and nine assists the rest of the way.

QUOTABLE II: "I was very upset about the benching, but at the same time, I respect what (Scott) did. The way we came out was terrible. It was ugly. We came out flat and with no energy, and you can't do that in the NBA."
-- Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters

HOT: Cavaliers point guard Shaun Livingston had 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting with a team-high six assists. In four starts filling in for Irving, he is averaging 13.0 points and 3.8 assists with a .502 field goal percentage. ... Thompson posted his fourth straight double-double, giving him 24 on the season. In his last 38 games, the second-year pro is averaging 13.5 points and a team-high 10.5 rebounds. ... Wizards power forward Nene had 15 points and 10 rebounds, joining Wall and Okafor in the double-double club. ... Wall was 13-for-14 from the foul line, making his first 10.

NOT: Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Washington coach Randy Wittman says the rookie remains "day to day. It could be a day, it could be a week until he's ready." ... The Wizards are 2-10 in their last 12 visits to Cleveland. ... Washington's reserves were outscored 29-11. Point guard A.J. Price was especially poor, missing all four of his 3-pointers in scoring three points in 23 minutes. ... Cavaliers center Marreese Speights shot 0-for-5 in 15 minutes. ... Zeller airballed a dunk attempt in the second quarter.

QUOTABLE III: "I think our guys feel like we can still win without Kyrie. We've just got to do the little extras on both ends of the court. We have a pretty good feel on how we have to play, but it's got to be done by a committee."
-- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott

GOOD MOVE: Wall relentlessly attacked the rim against Cleveland's young post players, setting Wizards season-highs in free throws made (13) and attempted (14) in 37 strong minutes. "I was just being a little more aggressive and trying to get into the paint tonight," the third-year pro explained. "I knew Tristan (Thompson) was their only real shot-blocker, so I tried to attack everywhere else."

BAD MOVE: Livingston knew he was the only healthy point guard on the Cavaliers, but he still picked up two fouls in the first 10 minutes. His second whistle came 40 feet from the basket against Wall, forcing the overmatched Waiters to run the offense for extended stretches. Fortunately, Cleveland power forward Luke Walton lent him a hand, dishing out five assists in 18 minutes.

NOTABLE: Beal, who was the third overall pick in the NBA Draft, was injured on March 3 against Philadelphia. Waiters went one selection later to Cleveland. ... Wittman was 62-102 as the coach of the Cavaliers in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. ... Cleveland small forward Omri Casspi (appendectomy) was active for the first time since Feb. 20, but did not play. The native of Israel last appeared in a game on Feb. 6 against Charlotte, and has not scored since Jan. 22 against Boston.

UP NEXT: For the Wizards, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, Friday vs. New Orleans, Saturday vs. Phoenix. For the Cavaliers, Friday @ Dallas, Saturday @ San Antonio, Monday vs. Indiana.