Wizards Pull Away, Snap Cavs Four-Game Run

LeBron's Big Fourth Not Enough as Red-Hot Wizards Snap Cavs' Streak
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- All good things must come to an end, and the new-look Cavaliers’ feel-good story following their bold deadline deals met its first road-bump on Thursday night – falling to the Wizards in their first game back in Cleveland after the All-Star break.

The Wine & Gold jumped out to a nine-point edge after the first quarter, but the Wizards – who improved to 8-2 without All-Star guard John Wall – outscored the Cavs, 35-23, in the second and pulled away late for the 110-103 victory, their first over Cleveland this season.

The Cavaliers got another excellent performance from LeBron James, who was fresh off winning his third All-Star Game MVP four nights ago in Los Angeles. However, they struggled to find a secondary offensive option in the second stanza. LeBron netted 14 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter, but he was the only starter to score in the period.

On the night, the four-time MVP went 13-of-18 from the floor, but just 5-of-9 from the stripe, missing a pair of free throws in the closing seconds that would’ve cut Washington’s lead to a single possession. But it’s hard to nitpick a game in which James led Cleveland with eight assists and two steals and nine boards.

JR Smith did most of his damage in the first quarter again, netting nine of his 15 points in the opening period. On the night, Smith, who’s now notched double-figures in six of his last seven outings, went 6-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Tristan Thompson was the only other Cavalier to net double-figures on Thursday night, barely missing his fourth double-double of the season and finishing with 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting to go with nine boards, a pair of assists and a blocked shot.

All four new Cavaliers acquired in the aforementioned Deadline deals made their Cleveland debut on Thursday, including Larry Nance Jr., who announced pregame that he would be switching to uniform No. 22, the same number that hangs in the rafters of The Q and will continue to do so as the younger Nance dons the new digit.

But like his new teammates, Nance found tougher sledding in Thursday’s contest against Washington as the Wizards snapped Cleveland’s streak of four-straight games topping the 120-point plateau.

Overall, Nance went 3-of-4 from the field, adding three boards and four fouls. George Hill went 2-for-10 with as many assists as turnovers while Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood each went 3-of-7 from the floor in the loss.

LeBron James


Swish knocked down 15 points, including three triples, in his team's loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night in Cleveland.

First-time All-Star Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 18 points, and little-known Tomas Satoransky followed up with 17 on 6-for-7 shooting to go with eight assists and a pair of steals. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Wizards reserves with 17 points as Washington’s second unit outpaced the Wine & Gold’s – 45-34.

The Cavs shot an even 50 percent from the floor on Thursday night, but were just 8-of-35 from beyond the arc and were outrebounded, 43-36, in the loss.

Turning Point -- After a back-and-forth third quarter – one that featured five ties and 10 lead-changes – the Wine & Gold finally retook the lead, 89-88, on Kyle Korver’s three-pointer with 9:43 to play.

But the Cavaliers went cold from there, with Washington rolling off nine-straight points over the next three minutes to take an eight-point edge midway through the fourth.

The Wizards would up their advantage to 11, 104-93, with 3:44 to play. LeBron would proceed to score each of the Wine & Gold’s final 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep their winning streak intact after the Break.

By the Numbers.840, .875 … J.R. Smith’s shooting percentage and three-point percentage in the first quarters of his last six games – going 21-of-25 from the floor and 14-of-16 from deep over that span.

QuotableLarry Nance Jr., on his Quicken Loans Arena debut …

"It was fun. Honestly, the second the game started and I checked in, I didn’t even realize where (I was). It didn’t even matter anymore. I was just playing basketball and having fun. But I did obviously hear the crowd when I checked in, and honestly that was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever had in my life. It was really cool."

Up Next -- The Wine & Gold hit the road following Thursday’s loss to Washington at The Q, traveling to Memphis for the second-half of the post-All-Star back-to-back, facing the Grizzlies on Friday night. They return to Cleveland for a well-earned five-game homestand, beginning with a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Spurs. They close out the month of February next Tuesday night with a visit by the Nets and tip off March two nights later when they welcome Joel Embiid and the Sixers. Next Saturday, Mike Malone’s Nuggets make their lone appearance at The Q with Detroit wrapping up the homestand the following Monday night, March 5.

Calls of the Game

#CavsWizards Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - February 22, 2018

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr spoke with the media following Thursday’s loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cavs vs. Wizards - February 22, 2018

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

#CavsWizards Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - February 22, 2018

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr spoke with the media following Thursday’s loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.
Feb 22, 2018  |  01:50

#CavsWizards Postgame: LeBron James - February 22, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Thursday’s loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.
Feb 22, 2018  |  04:30

#CavsWizards Postgame: Jordan Clarkson - February 22, 2018

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson spoke with the media following Thursday’s loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.
Feb 22, 2018  |  02:38

#CavsWizards Postgame: Coach Lue - February 22, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Thursday’s loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.
Feb 22, 2018  |  04:46

LeBron James Scores 32 In Loss vs. Wizards

LeBron James scores 32 points along with 9 rebounds and 8 assists but the Cavaliers fall to the Wizards.
Feb 22, 2018  |  02:00

GAME RECAP: Wizards 110, Cavaliers 103

Bradley Beal scores 18 points to go along with 9 assists to lead the Wizards over the Cavaliers, 110-103.
Feb 22, 2018  |  02:33

Larry Slams It

Larry Nance Jr. goes up for his second dunk of the night in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:10

Highlight in freeD: Hood Nails Trey

Experience Hood's three pointer against the Washington Wizards with this highlight in freeD.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:15

Highlight in freeD: LBJ Hits Jumper

Experience LBJ's first half jump shot against the Washington Wizards with this highlight in freeD.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:17

Highlight in freeD: Nance Throws It Down

Experience Nance's first half dunk against the Washington Wizards with this highlight in freeD.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:15

Clarkson Drives and Earns And-One

Jordan Clarkson is "More Driven" after powering past the Washington defense and earning an and-one opportunity.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:15

Featured Highlight: Larry Hammers It

Larry Nance Jr. channels his father with a big dunk to get the second quarter going against the Washington Wizards.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:10

Swish Knocks Down Big Trey

JR Smith knocks down an early three pointer to help the Cavs extend their already sizable lead over the Washington Wizards.
Feb 22, 2018  |  00:08

Larry Nance Jr. to Honor Father with No. 22

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr spoke with the media prior to Thursday's game against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.
Feb 22, 2018  |  04:02

#CavsWizards Shootaround: George Hill-February 22, 2018

Cavaliers guard George Hill spoke with the media following Thursday's shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Feb 22, 2018  |  05:29

Nance Jr. is Excited to Play in his Hometown

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Feb 21, 2018  |  07:10

Clarkson on Playing at The Q

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson spoke with the media following Wednesday’s practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Feb 21, 2018  |  06:37

LBJ Checks in from Wednesday's Practice

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Wednesday’s practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Feb 21, 2018  |  06:21

Coach Lue Discusses Practice with the New Cavs

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Feb 21, 2018  |  06:54