The Washington wizards lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-101 on Friday night.
When Washington faced Cleveland last month, with less than 30 seconds left in regulation they were down 93-89. Then coach Wes Unseld Jr. drew up two nice plays for Beal to draw defenders and seek Kuzma who nailed two clutch 3-pointers to give the Wizards the lead and ultimately the game.
So, you sure can bet the Cavaliers had this rematch with the Wizards penciled out.
Oh, and Kuzma probably starred in their scouting report.
For one, tonight the lineups were different than last month. The Cavs had Lauri Markkanen back tonight, while Cedi Osman and Dean Wade were out with injuries. The Wizards, on the other hand, had their same starting five as in the previous match-up: Beal, Dinwiddie, KCP, Kuzma, and Gafford.
In the first quarter both teams pushed the pace with plenty of fast-breaks and dunks. Jarrett Allen actually scored 14 points in that stretch! On the other hand, Cavs killer Kuzma had himself a great start with 9 points.
The second quarter started on a rather slow note for the Wizards who seemed lacking of energy out of the break. The Cavaliers went on a 11-2 run to bring their lead up to 31-42 before Bertans and Avdija hit two threes to cut the lead down to 5.
Others will probably have wiser things to say about the line-up that started the second quarter, but I sure wasn’t crazy about the combination of Harrell-Holiday-Bertans-Avdija-Dinwiddie. Bertans and Holiday were hopeless or over-matched on defense and the offense was not diverse enough.
After about 4 minutes Beal came in (and thankfully Holiday was benched) and soon Kuzma and KCP joined as well. The Wizards still struggled to contain Allen and you could hear Wizards fans everywhere cursing that sad Grunfeld trade that sent away the first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for 2 months of Bogdanovic...
Down 42-50 the Wizards use a time-out after which Gafford came back in. However, Markkanen and his hot hand did the Wizards little favors did a turnover and a miss by Beal. The lead hoovered around 10 points for the next couple minutes and the Wizards seemed to lack a clear game-plan: the last 2 minutes were especially careless in that regard and the deficit quickly grew to 19 points. The teams walked off to the locker-rooms as score-board read 46-65, and it seemed the Cavaliers were just waiting for the Wizards to commit errors on which they capitalized with ease.
The second half saw the Wizards try to “turn on the switch” but it seemed that they didn’t come into tonight’s came with the same level of focus that the Cavaliers had and couldn’t match the intensity of the Cavs. The Cavs simply destroyed them out of the gates and brought the lead up to 50-86. Yikes. Most of the second half was garbage time. In the fourth quarter the Wiz made a meaningless run to end the competition in a respectable score, 101-116.
The Wizards ended the first quarter of the season as one of the best home-court teams. But after two recent losses at home the Wizards are now only 8-3 at home.
The Wizards’ next game is on Sunday when they go abroad to play the Toronto Raptors. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. ET.