Cavaliers 98, Wizards 86
Gold star and a shot of grape juice to anyone who was able to sit through all of that game. That was a terrible game to watch -- one of the least competitive games the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards have played since Larry Hughes left town in the summer of 2005.
The Wizards were never really into the game, missing seven of their first eight shots, and scoring just 13 points in the first quarter. They also committed eight turnovers in the period, which led to 12 points for the Cavaliers. On two occasions, the Wizards tried to force cross court passes and LeBron James sat back like a free safety to intercept them. The first time, James caught a Dominic McGuire pass, which set up a Zydrunas Ilgauskas jumper. Then James stole a pass from Antawn Jamison and found Anderson Varejao cutting to the basket for a reverse layup.
"You just can't have [eight] turnovers in the first quarter and get down  points," Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott said. "That is a huge hole to dig out of against the Cavaliers, who play as well as they do overall, and certainly here."
The Wizards became the 38th victim in 39 games at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night, and unlike the last time here -- when they lost 93-89 on Christmas -- they didn't attempt to put up a fight. They trailed 78-54 with one minute left in the third period when LeBron James was fouled on a layup. "Coach said, 'They're going to throw the first punch, we have to counter.' We couldn't do it," Andray Blatche said after scoring 14 points with six rebounds.
Nick Young had a team-high 16 points, which was pretty impressive when you consider the nasty spill when Jamaal Magloire crashed into his knee last Saturday. Young said he was favoring the leg early on, which led to him getting a baseline dunk blocked by Zydrunas Ilguaskas and flipping in a layup when he had a chance for another highlight play. "It was kind of hurting in the beginning," Young said of his knee. "You could tell I tried to go baseline and reverse dunk, but I just threw it up there for a layup. The guys was laughing about that."
If you want to understand why the Wizards are 18-61 this season, all you had to do was see both Young and Blatche knock in shots for the Cavaliers while fighting for rebounds. I couldn't help but shake my head when I heard their reactions to the plays.
"I wish I could've got the points for it," Blatche said.
"I know. Me, too," Young said.
After the game, you could hear the frustration from Antawn Jamison, who was upset that the team finished with just 14 assists. He blamed it on selfish play, although I didn't notice a lot of one-on-one, "my-turn" basketball. The Cavaliers just played great defense.
"Knowing the circumstances, knowing what we was up against, knowing what formula has worked in the past, and to come out and do the exact opposite is disappointing," Jamison said after scoring seven points. "We just continue to take steps back. No excuses. No young guys on this team, we got Wizards [on our jerseys] and the Wizards, for some reason, when they do something good, take four or five steps back. And we just continue to take steps back."
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