Preview: Cleveland At Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Kyrie Irving looked plenty healthy while going toe-to-toe with one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference on Monday. Irving will try to make it two straight against the East’s elite when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
Irving, who sat out the first month-and-a-half while recovering from a fractured kneecap, delivered season highs of 25 points, eight assists and six rebounds in a 122-100 win over Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors on Monday. “When I’m able to play like that and get other guys shots and be aggressive and guys are hitting shots, gosh, the game is so fun,” Irving told reporters. “It was so fun to be out there. It was reminiscent of what we had last year.” Wall is carrying a big load due to the Wizards’ plethora of injuries and may finally be bending under the weight. The former No. 1 overall pick slumped to 14 points on 6-of-21 shooting in a 97-75 loss to Miami on Sunday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (23-9): Cleveland has won four straight games and reached a season-high point total in the win over the Raptors. “We probably have the best inside-outside combination with LeBron (James) and (Kevin Love) on the inside and Kyrie, (Iman Shumpert) and myself on the outside,” guard J.R. Smith told reporters. “We are able to get so many open looks and they put us in great position to make shots and we probably do the same for them.” Smith busted out of a shooting slump by going 8-of-14 from 3-point range in the victory.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (15-17): Washington dropped three of its last four games and scored a season low against the Heat as Wall’s eight-game double-double streak came to an end. The Wizards are hoping the two full days off between games will allow them to get one or two of their injured players back, with Gary Neal (back), DeJuan Blair (leg) and Drew Gooden (calf) the closest to returning. Washington survived a scare in Sunday’s loss when Marcin Gortat went to the ground in pain and went to the bench before returning to the court.
1. Cavaliers F Tristan Thompson has recorded back-to-back double-doubles for the first time this season.
2. Gortat is enjoying a four-game double-double streak.
3. Wall had 35 points and 10 assists in a 97-85 win at Cleveland on Dec. 1.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 105, Wizards 91