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Final Score: Cavs give up three-pointers late, lose to Wizards 97-94

For the first time this year, the Cavs lost a game decided by three points or less.

Washington Wizards v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cavs could of, and perhaps should of, won.

On Wednesday night at home, the Cavs lost to 97-94 to the Wizards despite leading by as many as 10 points in the second half and leading late into the fourth quarter. They, however, gave up two three-point looks in the final 26 seconds — both to Kyle Kuzma and both assisted by Bradley Beal — that cost them the game.

On what would become the game-winning three, Cavs forward Lamar Stevens lost Bradley Beal coming off a screen allowing Beal to get to the rim. When Cleveland cut him off, he fed to a wide-open Kuzma in the corner. Kuzma made the shot, giving Washington a 95-94 lead. After the game, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that the intent on that play was to foul Beal when he caught the ball — the Cavs had a foul to a give — but that it wasn’t called.

When the Cavs got their last crack at a the win, Darius Garland missed a pull-up three-pointer with roughly four seconds left in the game. In the scramble for the loose ball, the referee called ball off the Cavs. On replay, it looked as if it it last went off the Wizards. But because the Cavs were out of timeouts, Bickerstaff was unable to challenge the ball.

Ricky Rubio led the Cavs with 20 points off the bench. He also had five assists. Darius Garland added 19 points and four assists and, in his first game back from injury, Isaac Okoro had 2 points on 1-5 shooting, 6 rebounds and an assist in 28 minutes. For most the game, he defended Beal and held the Wizards All-Star in check aside from a few free throws. Beal did not make his first field goal until there was 3:45 to play in the third quarter. He finished with 13 points, his lowest total of the season.

Up next: The Cavs play on Friday at home against the Pistons. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.