Washington rested John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce and Nene. The Cavaliers rested LeBron James the entire game, and sat Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for most of the game, as neither team had anything left to play for before the playoffs begin this weekend. The Wizards did end up learning they'd face the Raptors to start the playoffs, after Chicago defeated Atlanta.
Even though both teams had nothing to play for, somehow this game wound up more competitive and longer than anyone expected. The Wizards' reserves took the early lead, even with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the game, but the Cavaliers took the lead back late thanks to run fueled by Matthew Dellavedova and Brendan Haywood. In the closing seconds, the Wizards were down 101-99 with a chance to win the game, or concede a loss in what amounted to a glorified exhibition. What the Wizards opt to do? GET THE BALL TO DEJUAN BLAIR FOR A TWO POINT SHOT TO TIE THE GAME AND FORCE A MEANINGLESS OVERTIME. Never stop competing, Wizards.
Here's what else we learned tonight.
The Wizards don't think Marcin Gortat needs rest, apparently
Congratulation to Marcin Gortat, the only Wizard to play in all 82 games this season for the Washington Wizards this season. He only logged 14 minutes (a competitive wind sprint), but it still counts as a game played. In today's NBA, it's truly impressive to play every game in a season, especially when you're taking a beating in the low post every night. Still, if you were Gortat's shoes, would you be a bit perturbed that the Wizards didn't consider you valuable enough to rest along with the rest of the team's starters?
Otto Porter sprained his ankle
Before tonight's game, we said the key to tonight was getting through tonight, win or lose, without getting hurt. WELP.
Otto Porter has been ruled out with a sprained left ankle.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) April 16, 2015
It's a sad, but unfortunate reality in games like this. You have to put somebody out there. This was just an unlucky break, but hopefully Porter is okay for the playoffs.