Cavs lose inside game to Wizards 115-107
Defense and rebounding. Do those things and you have a chance to win against anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The Cavaliers are living proof of that theory, having used defense and rebounding to surprise their way to victories over the likes of Miami, Boston and the L.A. Lakers.
But when you don’t have those elements of the game, as the Cavs did not Friday night, you find yourself at the wrong end of 115-107 defeat to the Washington Wizards.
And the numbers truly tell the story in this one.
• Washington compiled 27 offensive rebounds on its way to a whopping 56-38 advantage overall.
• The Wizards turned all those boards into a 62-46 lead in all-important points in the paint.
• Leading the way: Young power forward Andray Blatche, who looked like a young Wilt Chamberlain with 36 points and 19 rebounds -- 16 of which came at the offensive end.
• Blatche was so good, most people probably forgot about the remarkable night put together by Wizards center JaVale McGee. All he did was make 11 of 15 shots for 25 points. He also grabbed eight boards and blocked three shots.
• Making matters worse for the Cavs was the play of guard Jordan Crawford. The Wizards rookie made a name for himself by dunking on LeBron James as a college player, and deserved similar recognition Friday after recording his first career triple-double (21 points, 11 assists, 10 points).
"I got a few numbers on my mind," said Cavs coach Byron Scott, who then took some time to rattle off the painful statistics. "They were a lot more ready to play than we were. They just took it to us."
All of that said, the Cavs were never really out of this one, taking several leads and staying within striking distance until the final moments. Ramon Sessions definitely did his part, coming off the bench to score 26 points and almost single-handedly keeping things close.
J.J. Hickson wasn’t half bad either, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Of course, Hickson was in no mood to take any credit for anything. Quite the contrary.
"A lot of the reason for them getting rebounds was my fault," Hickson said. "I was just watching the ball and not going to box out. I wasn’t being physical; I was just trying to go get the rebound. But I can guarantee you it won’t happen again."
The Wizards (19-56) were without their two leading scorers in guards Nick Young (knee) and rookie John Wall (one-game suspension for fighting). But, as Sessions said, "other guys stepped up."
Scott added: "It really comes down to who wants it more. They wanted it more than we did."
The Cavs (15-60) still need one win in their final seven games to surpass the all-time worst mark in franchise history (1970-71). They travel to New York on Sunday, when they will attempt to sweep the four-game season series from the Knicks. Game time is 6 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio.