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Wrap-Up – After falling behind by as many as 27 points in the third-quarter, the Wine and Gold staged a furious rally in the fourth, cutting the Wizards’ lead to just four with 2:56 to play. But the Cavs ran out of gas from there as Washington avenged an overtime loss on Saturday – handing Cleveland the 98-91 loss on Wednesday night at The Q.
The Cavaliers outscored Washington, 32-18, in the final period, led by Kyrie Irving – who notched 18 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth, going 6-of-7 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the stripe. He was the only starter to score in the period. Anderson Varjeo double-up off the bench, tallying 14 points and 11 rebounds, grabbing five boards off the offensive glass. Jarrett Jack also scored 14 points with the second unit, adding six assists and a steal. The only other Cavalier in double-figures was Dion Waiters, who was pressed into duty after starter C.J. Miles left the game less than three minutes into the affair due to a strained right calf.
Matthew Dellavedova was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc for nine points, but more importantly, brought an energy and tenacity that turned the game around.
The Cavaliers were beaten in the paint, on the break and on second chance points. Bradley Beal and Nene combined for 50 of Washington’s 98 points with John Wall and Martell Webster adding 15 points apiece.
Turning Point – Wednesday’s matchup got ugly early, but the contest had two distinct turning points. The first came in the first. The Cavs were down just three points five minutes into the affair. But poor shot selection and some sloppy play allowed Washington to reel off a 13-2 run that they rode into a double-digit lead after one period. They bumped their edge to 18 before intermission. The second turning point came midway through the fourth quarter after an official timeout, as Kyrie ran off 12 straight points to get Cleveland to within four. Unfortunately, they’d get no closer.
Game Ball – Matthew Dellavedova – After flummoxing Bradley Beal in D.C. on Saturday night, the Australian rookie was back in his grill on Wednesday night – holding the Wizards’ rising star to just four points in the fourth quarter, while netting six points of his own, canning a pair of big three pointers. Dellavedova finished the night with nine points, but his hustle was what helped get Cleveland back into the game after falling into a 27-point hole.
By the Numbers – 56 … Cavaliers’ combined bench points on Wednesday night, with three players notching double-figures and Varejao turning in a double-double. In two games against the Wizards this season, the Cavs bench has outscored Washington’s by a combined score of 78-19.
Quotable – Jarrett Jack, on the Cavaliers lack of passion through the first three quarters …
”There’s nothing coach can do; nobody should have to ask anybody to play hard. At the end of the day, we’re supposed to love this and it’s supposed to be our job and if we don’t come out here and do our job, this is the type of result we’ll get.”
Up Next – The Wine and Gold hit the road for a weekend Western Conference back-to-back on Friday night against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans and on Saturday in San Antonio where they’ll take on the Conference champs. The Cavs get another three day break, and they’ll need it, as the two-time NBA Champs roll into The Q on the night before Thanksgiving.
Watch Highlights: Wizards 98, Cavs 91