NBA: New-look Cavaliers stopped by Wizards
Bradley Beal scored 18 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 and tried to untie the sneakers of one of Cleveland’s new players, and the Washington Wizards withstood a late assault by LeBron James to beat the new-look Cavaliers 110-103 on Thursday night.
The Wizards nearly blew a late 11-point lead as James scored 14 straight points to pull the Cavs within 106-103. But Beal hit a driving layup and James missed a free throw and committed a lane violation while intentionally missing the second one and the Wizards held on.
Washington is 8-2 since star guard John Wall went down with a knee injury. Tomas Satoransky, who has been starting in Wall’s spot, added 17 points and eight assists.
James, back from winning MVP honors at the All-Star Game, scored 32 — 14 in the fourth — for the Cavs, who dropped to 2-1 since acquiring four new players before the trade deadline. J.R. Smith added 15 for Cleveland.
The Wizards spoiled the home debuts for Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson, four new faces the Cavs are hoping can get them back to the NBA Finals.
But there are more obstacles in the Eastern Conference than ever and the Wizards could be a much tougher out in the postseason — with or without Wall. Washington overcame an early 12-point deficit and matched Cleveland’s intensity. Oubre tried to give the Wizards an extra advantage when he reached over during a dead-ball situation and tried to untie one of Hood’s shoes.
The four newest Cavs received warm ovations when introduced, with Nance getting the biggest roar from fans who remember his shot-blocking, dunking dad. Larry Nance Sr. was a two-time All-Star during eight seasons with Cleveland.
Before the game, Nance Jr. announced that the NBA will allow him to wear his dad’s retired No. 22 jersey, which will remain hanging from the rafters in Quicken Loans Arena.
“I’m ecstatic about it,” said the younger Nance, who will switch from 24 to 22 next week.
After making just one 3-pointer in the first quarter, the Wizards dropped four deep shots in a span of 2:24 of the second quarter.
Oubre and Markieff Morris each made two 3s during Washington’s barrage, which enabled the Wizards to take a 57-54 lead at halftime.
Philadelphia 116, at Chicago 115: Ben Simmons scored 32 points, including two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to complete the 76ers’ rally from five points down in the final minute. Joel Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds for the 76ers, who have won six in a row.
Oklahoma City 110, at Sacramento 107: Russell Westbrook made a three-point shot as time expired, capping a triple-double that included 17 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. Paul George scored 26 points and Carmelo Anthony 23 for the Thunder.
New York 120, at Orlando 113: Reserve Trey Burke scored a season-high 26 points and the Knicks ended an eight-game losing streak, winning for the first time since Kristaps Porzingis suffered a season-ending knee injury.
at Charlotte 111, Brooklyn 96: Kemba Walker scored 31 points, Dwight Howard grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds to go with 15 points and the Hornets handed the Nets their eighth consecutive loss.
at Golden State 134, Clippers 127
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