Cavaliers hold off Wizards’ late comeback for 116-113 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland matched a season high with 15 3-pointers and built a 25-point lead in the fourth before Washington’s reserves roared back. The Wizards reduced the lead to 119-109 with two minutes left and took advantage of Cleveland’s poor free throw shooting to get closer.
Jordan McRae’s two foul shots with 18 seconds remaining cut the margin to three. Osman missed two free throws with 11 seconds left and the Wizards called a timeout to set up chance to tie the game.
Osman stripped the ball from Tony Brown Jr. at the 3-point line and Larry Nance Jr. dribbled out the clock.
Cleveland made seven of 16 free throws in the fourth.
Ante Zizic had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Nance added 13 points with 11 rebounds.
The Cavaliers, who defeated Chicago on Sunday, won back-to-back games for the second time this season. Cleveland (11-41) had lost 18 of 19 before beating the Bulls.
Bradley Beal scored 31 but Washington lost in Cleveland for the second time this season. The Cavaliers topped the Wizards 116-101 on Dec. 8, a game Cleveland led by 29 points.
The other time the Cavs won consecutive games was Nov. 23-24 when they stunned Philadelphia and Houston. Cleveland also broke a nine-game home losing streak and won at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since beating New York on Dec. 12.
Trevor Ariza had 13 points, but Washington’s starters spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench. McRae scored 15 points and Gary Payton II had 11 — all in the final quarter.
The early minutes of the fourth became a festival of dunks and 3-pointers for the Cavaliers, who led 105-80 midway through the period.
Cleveland broke a 36-all tie late in the second quarter and led 53-47 at halftime. Osman helped build the margin in the third with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
THE NEXT STEP
Kevin Love will likely participate in contact drills this week. Cleveland coach Larry Drew has been impressed with how the All-Star forward has moved in offensive drills. The Cavaliers are off until hosting Dallas on Saturday, but Drew doesn’t anticipate Love will play this week. Love had foot surgery in November.
Wizards: C Ian Mahinmi (sprained right thumb) and F Sam Dekker (back spasms) returned after missing one game apiece. Dekker began the season with Cleveland and was traded to Washington on Dec. 8 as part of a three-team deal that included Milwaukee.
Cavaliers: Had six players in doubles figures. Collin Sexton scored 12 points and Matthew Dellavedova added 10. … Sexton fouled Beal while the Wizards guard was hitting a 3 in the first quarter. Beal completed the four-point play at the line. … Osman was selected to the World Team for the Rising Stars game that will take place during All-Star weekend.
Wizards: Host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.