Wizards stand in way of potential Cavs' winning streak
The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to win consecutive games for just the second time this season when they host the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Cleveland (10-41) ended a six-game losing streak with a 104-101 win at the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. It was just the Cavaliers' second win in their past 20 games.
The Cavaliers squandered an eight-point fourth-quarter lead and found themselves trailing 98-96. Instead of folding on the road, Cleveland finished the game on an 8-3 surge over the final 3:52 for the win.
"We haven't been in that situation often, but when we do get there, it's important moving forward that we learn how to play down the stretch, we learn how to execute, how to defensively get the stops that we need," Cavs head coach Larry Drew told the Plain Dealer after Cleveland improved to 5-22 on the road.
"Certainly, any time you do that on the road it makes it that much sweeter. We've had our struggles on the road, but we came up with the plays down the stretch that we needed and that's what let us come up with the win."
Alec Burks and Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 18 points apiece. The Cavs bench outscored the Bulls reserves 40-26, including 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting by Matthew Dellavedova, who played crucial minutes down the stretch.
"I think he just stopped us from running all around. When he gets the ball in his hands, he's playmaking and he's telling us where to go, what play to run and he's just a great player and really great to have him in those situations," forward Cedi Osman told the Plain Dealer.
The Wizards finish a three-game road trip in Cleveland after dropping a 132-119 decision Sunday in San Antonio, which was news to no one. Washington has dropped 19 straight road games at San Antonio, last winning there in December 1999.
Washington trailed 70-67 at halftime but shot 7 of 24 in the decisive third quarter, when it was outscored 29-17.
"It was an outrageously high amount of points," guard Bradley Beal told the Washington Post regarding the first half. "I'm sure (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) wasn't happy with the amount we scored, either, so it came down ... to whoever defended. And they were the ones who defended. We didn't."
Tomas Satoransky scored a season-high 21 points for Washington and added nine rebounds and eight assists. Beal also scored 21 points for the undermanned Wizards. Trevor Ariza added 20.
Already without John Wall, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris, Washington was also minus Sam Dekker (back spasms) and Ian Mahinmi (sprained right thumb) against San Antonio.
The Spurs shot 57 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3-point range (16 of 34). Washington was out-rebounded 49 to 32 and remains last in the NBA in rebound differential (minus-7.1 per game).
The Wizards entered this week 29th in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 115.9 points per game. Cleveland isn't much better at 113.3.
The teams split the first two meetings of the season, with each team winning at home.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 28, 2019