September 20, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 33 Review: James, Irving handle Wizards in shootout

On Tuesday, the Washington Wizards hoped to repeat the success they had a month and a half ago against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio. Their offense was up to the challenge, but LeBron James and company proved too much for the Washington defense this time around, and the home team fell, 121-115.

The game was a shootout and a fantastic display of shooting prowess, with both teams shooting well over 50 percent from the field. However, Cleveland’s superior talent eclipsed Washington’s balanced scoring, and All-Stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both finished with over 30 points. Garrett Temple led the Wiz with 21 points, including 12 in the third quarter, and John Wall finished with 20 points and 12 assists in a matchup of two top-flight point guards.

The Wizards trailed at the half, but came out on fire en route to a 39-point third quarter behind the scoring of Temple and Wall. However, James was simply unstoppable in the first three periods, and Irving more than picked up the slack in the fourth, dropping 19 in just those 12 minutes.

“I thought we left too much out there in the first quarter,” coach Randy Wittman said. “We missed two layups and seven free throws in the first quarter and we were up two. I thought the second quarter wasn’t one of our best. I thought the turnovers hurt us, plagued us a little bit in the first half.

The Wizards struggled with their defensive match-ups for the most part, with James creating the match-up nightmare that he is, plus Kyrie owning a host of Washington guards and showcasing his arsenal of moves around the basket.

Washington was only able to reach a tie in the beginning of the final quarter, 95-95, before Cleveland went on a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach for good. Washington was able to go on shooting runs but could never put together enough defensive possessions to keep up.

“Too much Kyrie,” Temple said. “He was hitting some tough, tough shots. He is a real talented player offensively. We fought back in the third. In the fourth, we were not able to get enough stops.”

Washington (15-18) heads to Toronto on Friday to face the Raptors and try to get their train back on the tracks. Cleveland (24-9) will play in Minnesota against the Timberwolves on the same night to try and build upon their first-place record.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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