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On This Date in Cavs Playoff History - April 21

2008: Wizards Get Their First-Round Wish
Ben W
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer

Including Wednesday’s Game 2 win over Detroit, the Cavaliers have now played 180 playoff games in franchise history. But they’ve never beaten a team like they did the Washington Wizards on this date back in 2008.

For the third straight season, the Wine and Gold drew the Wizards in the First Round – and there was bad blood boiling in the series long before it ever tipped off, with DeShawn Stevenson calling LeBron James “overrated” and Gilbert Arenas asserting: “I think everybody wants Cleveland in that First Round.”

Arenas and Co. got their wish, and the Cavaliers were happy to oblige – winning Game 1 at The Q, 93-86, Cleveland’s eighth straight playoff win over Washington. But that was just a warmup for the 30-point drubbing they laid on the Wizards in Game 2 as the Cavs mauled Eddie Jordan’s squad, 116-86.

LeBron followed up his 32-point effort in Game 1 with a 30-point, 12-assist, nine-rebound performance in the second game of the series. And for the second straight game, Washington’s Brendan Haywood got physical with James – shoving him out of bounds as he drove to the hoop in the third quarter. Haywood, a former Cavalier, was whistled for a flagrant foul and was ejected to a chorus of boos at The Q.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and Wally Szczerbiak – who, came to Cleveland in Trade Deadline mega-deal along with Delonte West, Joe Smith and Ben Wallace – added 15 points in the blowout win.

The Wizards were totally flummoxed by Cleveland’s D in Game 2 – with Washington’s Big Three of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison combining for just 28 points. Washington shot 38 percent from the field, missed 11 free throws and was outrebounded 49-34 while being outscored 80-50 over the final 30 minutes as the series shifted back to the nation’s capital for Game 3.

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