A point guard matchup is what people wanted and a point guard matchup is what everyone got. The game ended 121-115 Cavs, with Kyrie Irving finishing with 32 points. John Wall contributed 20 points for the Wizards, with 12 assists, but 7 turnovers. LeBron, the game-high scorer, finished with 34 points (with 26 of those coming in the second and third quarters), continuing to go on the sort of scoring spurts that are hard for other teams to come back against. Garrett Temple led Washington in points with 21 points.
A couple of thoughts about the game:
—Washington looked to push the pace early and often, as they usually do. It seemed like Kyrie’s speed and playmaking helped to combat the speed of the Wizards. Not only his ability to score from all over the court, but also his quick decision-making helped the Cavs take control of their own shot clock (for the most part), keeping Washington from playing the sort of game that they wanted to.
—JR Smith, who finished with 25 points, hit big shots, shooting 50 percent behind the arc (5-10), and he put the ball on the floor and drove the lane when he had to — a consistent and important showing from JR.
—LeBron turned it on offensively in the third, solidifying a decent lead, but, then, as he tried to get his team involved, the offense became stagnant. Passes were fumbled, shots were botched, and the lead was compromised. A lot of points were closed on. But…
—After blowing an 18 point lead with more than ten minuets in the fourth, which tied the game up, Kyrie hit two of his classic layups at crazy angles, helping the Cavs pull to up four. Then Kyrie played good defense on the next defensive possession, compromising his opponent’s shot at the rim, and afterwards, during their next offensive set, he hit a cold-blooded late-shot-clock two pointer. Then he drew a foul from three-point territory, hitting two of the three from the line. After missing a shot during the next possession, he took it right back to the rim, scoring, the next time down the court, making it 105-95 Cavs. When Kyrie gets momentum, he changes games.
I mean, after everything aforementioned, with three minutes left, he lost his handle, had no choice but to loft a contested jumper, and drained it. Then he hit a jumper during the next possession. During the next, he hit a three. I’ve been trying to type this all as quickly as Kyrie has been scoring. He dropped 19 in the fourth.
I’m going to go back and spell check now.