CLEVELAND: Thursday night seemed like more than just the first game after the All-Star break with the new-look Cavs the talk of the NBA, at least when it comes to basketball.

Four players acquired via Feb. 8 trades, including Akron native and Revere High School product Larry Nance Jr., made their Quicken Loans Arena debuts against the Washington Wizards.

The Cavs were on a four-game winning streak and had scored at least 120 points in four consecutive for the first time in franchise history. They were 2-0 with the newcomers on the court. They’d improved dramatically since the trade deadline, with a 3-0 record as compared to 7-10 since Jan. 1 before it. Their offensive efficiency had shot up to 124.2 in the last three games, as compared to 105.3 before, according to ESPN.

The question was whether they could ride the momentum halted by the break, which came after an impressive victory at Oklahoma City on Feb. 13.

The answer was no.

LeBron James scored 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, but the Cavs blew a 12-point second-quarter lead as the Wizards prevailed 110-103.

The Wizards (34-24) were still without five-time All-Star point guard John Wall following left knee surgery.

The Cavs (34-23) struggled from 3-point range, finishing 8-of-35 (23 percent) from beyond the arc. George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and Cedi Osman were a combined 0-for-9 from deep. Hill was especially unlucky, with two good looks going in and out. Rodney Hood hit the side of the backboard on a 3-point attempt with 2:41 remaining.

The Cavs’ four new players — Hill, Clarkson, Nance and Hood — combined for 29 points after totaling 49 in their debut at Boston and 48 at Oklahoma City.

Following up his All-Star Game MVP award, James finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He was 1-of-4 from long range, including a big miss from the corner with 1:41 to go.

The Cavs led 89-88 in the fourth quarter before the Wizards went on a 9-0 run to take a 97-89 lead with 6:12 left. James finally ended the surge with a driving layup with 5:54 remaining.

But James brought the Cavs back as they cut the deficit to 104-101. Otto Porter Jr. came through with what felt like the dagger, beating J.R. Smith for a layup off a Bradley Beal pass with 57 seconds to go that put the Wizards ahead 106-101.

James countered with a layup with 51 seconds to go, but Beal scored on the other end and James missed two free throws the next time downcourt.

The Cavs seemed on the verge of an easy night when they opened a 43-31 lead with 7:05 left in the second quarter. At a timeout at the 6:42 mark and trailing by 10, the Wizards had made just 2-of-10 beyond the arc.

But the Wizards got hot from long range against the Cavs starters, making three in a row and five of their last seven to go ahead 57-54 at halftime.

James was coming off his third career All-Star Game MVP award and his NBA record 14th consecutive start.

With his eighth field goal of the night, he became the seventh player in league history to reach 11,000 in a career.

The Cavs did prove they are a different team athletically since the trades. They committed 14 turnovers, but with their ability to hustle back on defense, the Wizards converted the miscues into just four points.

Smith continued his first-quarter hot streak, hitting 4-of-7 in that period, including 1-of-3 from long range. Over the last six games, Smith has made 21-of-25 from the field in the first 12 minutes and 14-for-16 from beyond the arc. He scored nine points in the first period and finished with 15.

Beal led the Wizards with 18 points and nine assists, Tomas Satoransky had 17 points and eight assists and Porter had 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Cavs play at Memphis on Friday before hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday for a 3:30 p.m. game televised by ABC.

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.