December 8, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 58 Recap: With LeBron resting, Wiz take care of the Cavs

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

Many were worried about the inconsistent play of the Washington Wizards defense after just squeaking by the woeful Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. With the prospect of the defending Eastern Conference champions coming into town, head coach Randy Wittman knew “we’re not going to outscore them.” In the middle of a three game in four day stretch, Cavaliers coach Ty Lue announced that LeBron James (rest) would not play against Washington. The Wizards had played the undermanned Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls after the all-star break without any success and knew they had to take care of business at the Phone Booth. Led by John Wall (21p, 13a) and Otto Porter (21p, 5r), Washington controlled the game after an early hiccup on their way to a 113-99 victory,

Washington quickly fell in a 15-8 hole, but they responded with a 22-8 run to turn a seven point deficit into a seven point advantage. John Wall was getting his teammates involved with five first quarter assists, while the Wizards received an extra boost off their bench with 15 points in the first twelve minutes of play. After Cleveland got off to a good start shooting the basketball, they finished the quarter just 9 of 23 (39.1 percent), which allowed Washington to hold a 35-28 lead.

When not settling for 3-pointers that simply were not falling for the Wizards in the first half, 4 of 14 (28.6 percent), the offensive efficiency was pleasant. The home team was attacking the rim and were 19 of 29 (65.5 percent) from inside the three-point line. John Wall was characteristically leading the charge by taking it right at the Cleveland backcourt, especially when matched up with woeful defender Kyrie Irving. Even with the Cavs shooting 50 percent from the field in the quarter, Washington extended their lead to 63-54 by halftime.

Otto Porter came out on fire to start the third quarter by hitting all three of his 3-pointers to give Washington an 18 point edge, 72-54. Later in the quarter Porter hit his fourth triple, as many as the team had in the first half alone, to put the Wizards up a whopping 88-63 after John Wall got in on the fun. The defense continued to be impressive as Washington held Cleveland to 6 of 18 (33.3 percent) shooting to take their 96-70 blowout lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was rather boring, which worked to the Wizards advantage. Kyrie Irving scored some garbage time points to keep his average up, but by the five minute mark reserves were in for both sides. JJ Hickson made his Wizards debut and recorded two points and a couple rebounds in a blowout victory. At the end of the Sunday matinee, Washington grabbed an impressive victory, even if LeBron James didn’t play, with a final of 113-99.

 The Wizards will play the 76ers again tomorrow at Verizon Center with a 7 pm tip. It is the fact that Washington still has matchups against lottery-bound opponents that give them a chance to make up ground in the standings.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Washington Wizards last Sunday, it was no contest with LeBron James getting the day off. Tonight the defending Eastern Conference […]

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