CLEVELAND — The beauty of preseason basketball is in the eye of the beholder.
This was one ugly sight to behold.
In a fast-paced game made faster by both teams shooting struggles, the Wizards used a big second half to pull away and defeat the Cavaliers, 97-83, before a half-full house at The Q Thursday night. The Wizards are 2-0 this preseason, the Cavaliers 1-1.
Neither team shot well, though the Wizards got enough to drop late in the third and early in the fourth that they pushed the lead to 21 with 6:49 left. The Cavaliers doomed themselves by committing 26 turnovers and making just 30 of 85 shots from the floor.
“We’re still in the crawling stage,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. “Guys will continue to work. We’ll get better at it.
“Anytime you have 26 turnovers it’s going to be hard to win a basketball game.”
Ramon Sessions had another impressive showing for the Cavaliers, posting 10 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. J.J. Hickson led the home team with 16 points.
Five Wizards scored in double figures, led by Yi Jianlian’s 16 and 13 apiece from Gilbert Arenas, Al Thornton and Andray Blatche. John Wall had 12.
Scott said his team is tired and it showed.
“We were indecisive,” he said. “Guys have been working their butts off. Getting tired is not an excuse, but when they’re tired the oxygen isn’t getting to their brains.”
Leon Powe was productive in 17 minutes for the Cavaliers, scoring 10 points. Daniel Gibson also had 10. The Cavaliers held a 52-41 rebounding edge with Ryan Hollins grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds.
Sessions set up the first two points of Christian Eyenga’s Cavalier career with a nice lead pass in transition that led to a tomahawk dunk. Eyenga later added a 3-pointer from the corner. The Cavs shot 3-of-12 from beyond the arc on the night.
Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft, didn’t get his first basket until late in the third quarter but his athletic gifts were obvious. He blocked a pair of Cavalier shots and finished with 9 assists and 3 steals.
“He’s quick,” Scott said. “In the open floor, he’s a blur.”
NOTES: Antwan Jamison was held out for rest. Anderson Varejao is back with the team but didn’t play and likely won’t play in the Cavaliers next two games, Sunday in Houston and Monday in Dallas…Samardo Samuels logged 8 points and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes. Scott said he’s seeing good progress from Samuels but wants the rookie to show better awareness at both ends of the floor…Joey Graham sat out after starting at small forward Tuesday. Jamario Moon started there Thursday, and Scott said Jawad Williams will likely start there Sunday…Scott said he’ll give the Cavaliers veterans their first off day of training camp on Friday.