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Wrap-Up -- A furious late rally by the Wizards cost Cleveland the chance to enjoy a rare blowout win. But the Cavaliers will gladly still settle for their second straight victory.
The Cavs took a lead at the end of the first quarter and improved their advantage to 25 points early in the fourth before weathering a withering Wizards charge that saw them get to within three points at the final buzzer. Despite Washington’s late heroics, the Wine & Gold managed to win two straight for just the second time this season – taking the 116-113 decision on a frigid Tuesday night in Cleveland.
Cleveland scored 35 points in the third quarter before allowing the equally-shorthanded Wizards – led by former Cavalier, Jordan McRae – to score 44 in the fourth.
The Cavs led by 18 with 3:37 to play before fighting off Washington late – taking a 2-1 series edge with the season’s final meeting next Friday night in the nation’s capital.
The Cavaliers got big performances by Jordan Clarkson off the bench and Cedi Osman in the starting lineup – the duo combining for 54 of Cleveland’s 116 points in the win.
Clarkson – the league’s third-leading bench scorer – padded that stat on Tuesday night, leading Cleveland with 28 points in 29 minutes of work, going 10-of-15 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from long-range, adding five boards and a pair of assists.
The fifth-year man from Mizzou scored 18 of his 28 points after intermission, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Osman – who earlier in the evening was named to the World Team in All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars Challenge – had another outstanding performance, finishing with 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, to go with five boards, seven assists, a pair of steals and a block.
The Cavaliers also got double doubles from both of their big men in Tuesday’s win.
Six Cavs score in double figures in shootout win with Wizards.
Ante Zizic doubled-up for the second time in his last seven starts and grabbed double digit boards for the second straight contest – finishing with 12 points and a game-high 12 boards.
Larry Nance Jr., who returned from an eight-game layoff with a right knee injury, got his second win in three games since his return – chipping in with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with 11 boards for his seventh double double of the season.
Collin Sexton reached double figures for the 44th time this season, despite struggling from the field again – finishing with 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting, adding three boards and three assists.
Matthew Dellavedova tallied double figures for his second straight game – chipping in with 10 points, going 3-of-5 from deep to go with two boards and a pair of assists.
Bradley Beal lead all scorers on Tuesday – notching 31 points on 10-for-20 shooting and tying for the team lead with seven assists. Trevor Ariza was the only other Wizards starter in double figures.
Jordan McRae, who won a title with the Wine & Gold in 2016, scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter – going 5-for-5 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from deep in the period.
Turning Point -- After taking a two-point lead following the first quarter, the Cavaliers methodically upped their advantage in the second quarter and led the Wizards by a touchdown at intermission.
The third quarter has been a tough one for Cleveland at times this year, but not on Tuesday – with the Wine & Gold using a 24-10 burst, capped by Alec Burks’ triple, to open up a 17-point edge midway through the period.
Cleveland kept the heat on into the fourth – eventually upping its advantage to 25 with just under seven minutes to play. Washington would close the contest on a 33-11 run, but it wasn’t enough, with Larry Drew’s squad holding on for the win in the closing seconds.
By the Numbers – 24.3, .547, .484 … Cedi Osman’s scoring average – plus shooting percentages from the floor and beyond the arc over his last four games – topping the 20-point plateau in three of them after going for 20-plus just six times previously in his career.
Quotable – Jordan Clarkson, on Cedi Osman being named to the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend …
"Having that under his belt is going to be a great experience for him, to get to enjoy All-Star Weekend and be a part of that. A lot of guys have played in that game. It’s dope to see him in that. He’s played really well recently – attacking closeouts, making plays, especially attacking the rim and knocking down the three ball. He puts in a lot of work and it’s coming to fruition right now in these last few games for him."
Up Next -- After dropping the Wizards on Tuesday night at The Q – and wrapping up a rough month on the road – the Wine & Gold get a much-needed and well-earned three-day break before welcoming Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to town on Saturday night. They don’t play again until the following Tuesday, taking on Kyrie Irving and the Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena before getting back on the road for a weekend back-to-back against the Wizards in Washington and Pacers in Indy. Cleveland welcomes the Knicks and Nets the following week before taking some time for the All-Star Break.