The Cavs took a step forward in Tuesday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, but remembered that they were a hurt and deficient team in Washington D.C. Any time you’re on the road in the second game of a back to back you’re going to have trouble, but it’s worse when you’re working players into shape and missing several contributors. The Washington Wizards have struggled through dysfunction in the young season, but clearly looked at this as a game they could use to get back on track. We’ll see where it goes for them, but they did what they had to do tonight.
The Washington Wizards, 119. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 95.
The first half of this game was an all-out disaster. Really, all but the first six minutes of the third quarter was. The Cavs were outscored by 12 and nine points in the first and second quarters, prompting Larry Drew to ask the team at halftime if they had any real energy they wanted to expend. It really looked like the answer was no. They seemed caught off-guard by the Washington Wizards defensive intensity, and found themselves dribbling into turnovers. Collin Sexton turned the ball over four times, and Jordan Clarkson contributed six of the them. The team as a whole totaled 23 of them.
Some bright spots: Sexton had 24 points on 16 shots and played 34 minutes. Seeing and defending John Wall on a night John Wall looked like John Wall will be good experience for him. He got put in the blender a few times. It was ugly. That’s okay. He kept attacking and probing and handed out a couple assists.
Tristan Thompson continues with his mini-renaissance. He only played 19 minutes, so his numbers weren’t particularly gaudy, but his defensive intensity stood out on a team that largely didn’t have any. Both Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. made long jumpers, which is sort of neat.
In the third quarter J.R. Smith had an open three that would have made it a 12 point game, but he missed and then Jordan Clarkson entered the game. He’s been pretty good for Jordan Clarkson so far this season, but tonight was not his night. Nine points on 12 shots, and the aforementioned six turnovers in 27 minutes weren’t particularly helpful and again, no one was really defending out there.
Cedi Osman is either coming back down to earth or still bothered by injury. Let’s hope it’s the injury because the games just aren’t as fun when he’s not smiling. We’ll see you this weekend for Cavs-Pistons.