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Wizards stopped short by Cavs, 106-99
Bradley Beal scored 27 points to lead the Wizards in a tough loss at Capital One Arena
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The Wizards and Cavaliers went back and forth for the majority of Sunday night's game, but Cleveland prevailed in the fourth quarter and won 106-99. Bradley Beal scored 27 points, John Wall had a double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds), and Mike Scott added 19 points in the loss. LeBron James was held to 8-of-23 shooting, but still had a triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 15 assists.
Otto Porter Jr. did not play after suffering a bruised thigh and only playing three minutes against the Clippers on Friday. Kelly Oubre Jr. started in Porter's place, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Tomas Satoransky was used more at the wing position with Wall and Beal in Porter's absence after Oubre was in early foul trouble in the first quarter. The Cavs won the first quarter 27-23, while Markieff Morris leading the Wizards with seven points.
Both teams would light it up from deep in the second quarter, with the Cavs shooting 6-of-10 and Wizards 5-of-8. Washington scored 37 points in the second quarter and tied it heading into halftime. Wall and Beal each scored nine points in the second, while Mike Scott, who finished with 19 points, had eight points in the quarter. The Wizards defended the paint well in the first half overall, holding the Cavs to 10-of-21 shooting in the paint and out-rebounding them 29-17. Still, the Wizards missed a lot of easy shots around the rim in the first half that could have created more separation.
Scott actually started the second half as Morris received an X-ray at halftime, Scott Brooks said postgame. The third quarter was near even: both teams scored 23 points and shot 10-of-22 from the field. Beal had 10 of his 27 points in the period, while Kevin Love scored 11 of his 20 points. The Cavs thrived off extra passes to deep threats like Love in the second half and made the Wizards pay. The teams headed to the fourth quarter all even at 83-83 in a fast-paced, high-scoring game, which sure changed in the fourth.
The Wizards were able to stifle James in the fourth quarter with a mix of Beal, Oubre, and Scott, who only went 2-for-7 from the field and turned it over four times in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Wizards were unable to get much offense going in the last 12 minutes, only making 7-of-22 shots, including 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. The Wizards only converted on 1-of-4 second chance opportunities in the final quarter after scoring 13 second chance points on 6-of-11 shooting in the first three quarters. The Cavs were able to box out the Wizards effectively and closed the game out by doing the little things.
Porter's absence was especially felt in this game, with the Wizards unable to make a few extra winning plays to get the job done. That's no excuse against a team that was without Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade, but the Wizards struggled to box out, lay off bad fouls, and deflect passes late in the game.
With the loss, the Wizards move to 16-14 through 30 games. The New Orleans Pelicans are in town on Tuesday to wrap up a four-game homestand at 7:00pm.