Post-mortem: Cavs 98, Wizards 86
- Defense rules the day as the Cavs used two quarters to salt this one away. They jumped out in the first holding the Wizards to 35 percent shooting and taking a decisive 13-point lead to open the game in a game where the Wizards didn't have a single lead.
- If they dug the grave in the first quarter, they buried the Wizards bodies in the third as they outscored Washington 30-21 and held them to 38 percent shooting in the quarter.
Cavs (62-15) vs. Washington Wizards (18-60)
TV: FSOhio. Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G). Wizards: Dominic McGuire (F); Antawan Jamison (F); Brendan Haywood (F); Caron Butler (G); Jarvis Crittenton (G).
J.J. Hickson (back). Wizards: Deshawn Stevenson, Etan Thomas, Mike James are out. Gilbert Arenas (questionable). Nick Young is a game-time decision.
The Cavs won their last game; the Wizards lost their last game.
The Wizards leads the season series 2-1 and owned the Cavaliers last week in the Verizon Center, scoring 58 points in the paint and beginning the Cavaliers second losing streak of the year.
Tom Washington, Eric Lewis and Haywoode Workman.
What to watch:
Mike Brown on why the Wizards have success against the Cavs in the regular season:
- The Cavs must pay attention to their interior defense. The Wizards dominated that aspect of the game last week getting those 58 points in the paint. The Cavs had few answers how to stop that at the time. With Ben Wallace expected to play tonight, that could offer some help. It’s conceivable that it came down to a lack of focus on the team’s part. However, if they want to maintain their one-game lead on the Los Angeles Lakers for home court advantage throughout the playoffs, then they need to be dialed in for this one.
- Caron Butler ate the Cavaliers alive with 25 points last time out and the Cavs couldn’t keep Brendan Haywood or Dominic McGuire off the boards. The Wizards also caught the Cavs napping in transition and beat them in fastbreak points 20-9 on the night. That can’t happen if the Cavs want to protect their house.
It’s just the NBA – the nature of the NBA. They cause matchup problems for us and seem to get excited to play us. If we get it back in the playoffs and I had to take a choice, I’ll take the playoffs.