With just a week to go before the regular season, the Cavs came up short against the Wizards their final preseason game, dropping the contest 96-91.
Given that it was Cleveland’s last tune-up before games that actually count, the regular rotation players saw little to no action in most of the second half, especially in the fourth quarter.
With fringe roster players in, Washington opened up an eight point lead on Cleveland in the fourth quarter. The Cavs managed to make it a one point game in the closing moments after a Markel Brown layup. However, two forced three-point attempts from DeAndre Liggins and Jonathan Holmes went begging, and Cleveland could not claim the lead.
Cavs fans had a bit of a scary moment in the first half when point guard Kyrie Irving went back to the locker room with an injury. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, it was just a calf strain, and the Cavaliers held him out of the rest of the game as a precautionary measure. Irving went 0-3 from the field in 10 minutes of play.
The good news for the Cavs is that the other two members of their big three looked ready for the season. LeBron went 8-13, scored 18 points and threw down one thunderous dunk in 26 minutes.
Kevin Love was also effective, putting up 15 points on 5-10 in 20 minutes of action. In his preseason debut, newly re-signed Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith went 1-4 from the field for four points.
The Cavaliers will open up the regular season Tuesday when they raise the Finals championship banner and take on the Knicks.