THE Washington Wizards overcame a slow start and a late scoring run by LeBron James to spoil the home debut of the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-103, on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Trailing by as much as 12 early on, the Wizards closed the second quarter with a 24-9 run to take a 57-54 lead at the half.
Cleveland clawed back to regain control early in the fourth, 89-88, before Washington went on another 16-4 blitz to lead by 11, 104-93, with over three minutes to play. But James refused to give up, going on a one-man 8-0 tear to cut the gap to three in a span of two minutes.
Otto Porter and James traded baskets in the next plays before Bradley Beal scored on a layup to give the Wizards a comfortable 108-103 lead late. James came up empty from the free throw line in the next Cleveland possession, which essentially sealed Washington’s third straight win.
Washington (34-24), still without John Wall, had five players in double figures led by Beal’s 18 points. Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre Jr each scored 17.
James had 32 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Cavs (34-23), who saw their four-game win run snapped. JR Smith and Tristan Thompson scored 15 and 12, respectively,