It was the Bobby Portis show in Washington, D.C. on Friday night. The Wizards’ new addition couldn’t miss in a 30-point special in a reserve role. In his 27 minutes, Washington outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers by 19 points, and it took him just 18 shots to hit his point total. When he wasn’t scoring, Bradley Beal was. Collin Sexton was able to put together his second straight positive performance, but it simply wasn’t enough.
The Washington Wizards, 119. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 106.
Kevin Love started this game, but played just six minutes. The Cavs say that was the plan all along, and he won’t play tomorrow night against the Pacers. There’s no point in rushing him back, so whatever the doctors say is best makes sense to me. Still, it would be nice to see him out and healthy. Love finished with four points on 1-5 shooting. He went 0-3 on three-pointers.
The Cavs got good performances from Larry Nance Jr. and Collin Sexton, guys they want to be part of the team’s future. For now, Love is part of those plans. Hard not to want to see some of these guys play together.
Sexton scored 27 points on 18 shots, and you’ll see solid efficiency numbers like that when you attempt three-pointers and make a couple of them. Tonight, he made three of them on seven shots. The attempts are the real step forward, and he needs to keep doing it. He got to the line and made all four of his attempts, and he forced contact a few other times as well.
The Cavs, though, simply still can’t sustain defense. Part of that was on Sexton but of course it was. Clarkson felt like a problem at times, but his offensive numbers are actually fine. Also of note was Marquese Chriss, making his Cavs debut. He was all over the place, mixing a really nice three-point stroke with some bizarre turnovers and matador defense. Perhaps as he gets comfortable he can find a way to keep himself relevant in the league.
Finally, Larry Nance, Jr. put together 10 points and 19 rebounds on 3-15 shooting. It’s to his credit he’s working as hard as he does. He should be a nice fit next to Love with Tristan Thompson coming off the bench. The Cavs just have to get there.
Up next: The Cavs play in Indiana against the Pacers tomorrow at 7 p.m.