NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 16th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (3-7) at Washington Wizards (2-6), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards lost all three of their games on a recent western road trip and are back in the nation's capital Saturday to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Wizards will also host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Verizon Center.
Washington entered its trip to Oklahoma City, Dallas and San Antonio on a two- game winning streak, then lost all three games. In Wednesday's 92-79 setback to the mighty Spurs, the Wizards were down a few men after Trevor Ariza suffered a right hamstring strain and John Wall left the game after getting in the face when Jeff Ayers followed through on a blocked shot.
Martell Webster scored 21 points off the bench and Bradley Beal added 19 in defeat, Washington's sixth in eight tries this season. The Wizards were able to shave a 19-point deficit down to three points, but shot horribly in the waning minutes of the third quarter.
"We worked our butt off to get (the 19-point deficit) down to three. And then we just made dumb mistakes on both ends of the floor. We got away from what got us there," said Beal.
The Spurs outscored the Wizards 52-30 in the paint and their bench outscored the Washington reserves by a 49-30 count.
Ariza is doubtful for Saturday and Wall is probable. Wall is second on the team in scoring with 17.0 ppg and Beal leads the squad with 19.3 ppg.
The Cavs dropped their third in a row on Friday night, an 86-80 home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. It was Cleveland's first home setback of the season.
The Cavs held a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but got blown out over the final 12 minutes, 29-22. The Bobcats shot 56.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
"I think we just became complacent with the lead," admitted Cavs All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. "We stopped being aggressive and kind of got away from the things that got us the lead in the first place."
Irving led the Cavs with 18 points and 10 assists, but he did it on 5-for-16 shooting and committed six turnovers. Tristan Thompson also had a double- double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Earl Clark, who was reinserted into the starting lineup, managed 15 points and Jarrett Jack chipped in 11 off the bench. Anderson Varejao pulled down 13 boards.
Dion Waiters didn't travel with the team due to illness.
First overall pick Anthony Bennett continued his struggles on Friday. He only scored two points and now just has 13 points in his career.
Cleveland took all three meetings with Washington a season ago, but has lost 11 of 15 and 15 of its last 20 trips to D.C. The two teams meet again in Cleveland on Wednesday.
11/16 10:13:58 ET