Once again, the Washington Wizards went down to the wire against a mediocre team. After rallying to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in their home opener on Tuesday night, the Wizards played the Cleveland Cavaliers tight tonight. In the end, they came up short down the stretch and lost 107-102.
The game was tied at 95 with two minutes to go before the Cavaliers took a five-point lead in less than 30 seconds. After two Mo Williams free throws, Gilbert Arenas forced a shot with two defenders guarding him. On the ensuing Cleveland possession, Daniel Gibson got John Wall to bite on a pump fake and knocked down a three-pointer to put Cleveland up 100-95. After a timeout, the Wizards couldn't even draw iron on their shot attempt and drew a 24-second shot clock violation. On the ensuing possession, Williams nailed a three-pointer in the right corner for the icing on the cake.
The Wizards took control in the fourth quarter by using a three-guard lineup of John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich. However, the Cavaliers rallied thanks to one key sequence. After J.J. Hickson was fouled and made his first free throw, Anderson Varejao rebounded the second free throw miss and found Anthony Parker for a three-pointer. The four-point sequence brought the Cavaliers to within one, and a Varejao layup gave the Cavaliers the lead on the next possession.
Al Thornton led the way with 23 points for the Wizards, but barely saw the court in the fourth quarter.