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Back in action, Wizards earn big win in Cleveland
Wizards open up post All-Star break with 110-103 win over Cavs
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Behind a balanced scoring attack, the Wizards made the extra plays to beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday night, 110-103. In the first game after the All-Star break, Washington used stellar ball movement and tenacious defense to secure the victory. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 18 points and nine assists, Tomas Satoransky added 17 points, eight assists, and zero turnovers, and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 17 points off the bench.
Sparked by a 21-3 run in the second quarter, the Wizards spoiled the Cavs' first home game since reshaping their team. The Wizards struggled in the first quarter from beyond the arc, only making 1-of-8 triples, but made 6-of-9 in the second quarter to help their run. Despite trailing by nine at the end of the first quarter, the Wizards led the Cavs 57-54 at the half. Oubre had 12 points in the first half, Satoransky had six of his assists, and the Wizards only turned it over four times.
“We stayed together and showed a lot of resolve," Scott Brooks said postgame of the team's turnaround. "We kept competing and they’re not an easy team to play."
The Wizards took a commanding 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, but LeBron James and the Cavs were not done. Nobody other than James would score in the final 9:41 of the game. Mike Scott's six points were key in the fourth quarter before the starters came back in, while the team's small ball lineups succeeded throughout the game to fight back into it.
With 57 seconds left and the Wizards only up three, Brooks called a masterful play after timeout play to go up five. Otto Porter Jr. inbounded the ball to Beal, who passed it back to Porter for a layup. With the Cavs pushing to steal the game, the play call gave the Wizards more breathing room down the stretch.
Even on a night James scored 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting and fell one rebound and two assists short of a triple double, the Wizards shut down Cleveland's other players. Outside of James, the rest of the Cavs were held to 29-of-66 (43.9%) from the field. Cleveland only made 8-of-35 3-pointers, shooting only 22.9% from deep.
The Wizards would finish the game 12-of-30 (40.0%) from beyond the arc with 29 assists on 44 total field goals. Washington continued to display strong ball movement, the best in the league the last 10 games, with seven players dishing out two or more assists. Eight players scored eight or more points in the game, with Porter's 15 points and eight rebounds and 45 bench points supporting the big nights from Beal, Satoransky, and Oubre.
"The ball movement was outstanding, we just have to keep fighting for each other," Brooks said. "It was a good team win. Our bench came in and gave us a good lift. Ian (Mahinmi) and Jodie (Meeks) were huge tonight. They gave us that spark that we needed.”
Satoransky's offensive efficiency stuck out once again on Thursday night. In his last five games, Satoransky is averaging 14.2 points, 6.4 assists, and only 1.6 turnovers per game, while shooting 62.2% from the field and 64.3% from beyond the arc. Everybody has stepped up in John Wall's absence, but Satoransky's growth and improvement every game has been a revelation for the Wizards.
"He was drafted with me so I’m happy to see my boy come in and do what he do[es] best," Beal said postgame about Satoransky. "It’s just amazing to see his development constantly being made. He puts in work each and every day and it’s showing on the court."
"He's a warrior," Oubre added. "The sky is the ultimate limit for him."
Next up, the Wizards (34-24) host the Hornets (25-33) on Friday night back in D.C. at 7:00pm.