CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers fell behind by 27 in the third quarter, forcing Mike Brown to bench most of his starters the rest of the night. Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, including 13 straight in a valiant fourth-quarter comeback, but the Cavaliers fell 98-91 at home Wednesday to the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards shot 50 percent most of the night and led 73-46 midway through the third quarter when Brown called a timeout and yanked all five of his starters. Irving was the only starter to play the rest of the night. He scored 18 points in the fourth as the Cavs cut the deficit to four, but ultimately suffered another bad loss.
After two days of practice and the latest tweak to his starting lineup, Brown was finally beginning to feel comfortable with his lineup and rotation. Then C.J. Miles was injured two minutes into the game and the rotation was again jumbled.
Miles (who did not return with a calf injury), Earl Clark, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum combined for just 7 points on 2 of 15 shooting. The Cavs’ bench accounted for 56 points, including nine from Matthew Dellavedova, whose gritty defense and timely shots fueled the near-comeback.
Anderson Varejao had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Jarrett Jack had 14 points and six assists and Dion Waiters had 11 points (all off the bench). Waiters, however, shot 2 of 13.
Bradley Beal had 26 points for the Wizards and Nene had 24 points and eight rebounds. John Wall had 15 points and nine assists.