Cavaliers fall to Wizards with LeBron resting

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This is the time of year that championship teams want to be approaching their peak, and you clearly can’t say that about the Cavs right now. James sat out only one other game this season, at Miami on December 5.

“It’s one of those times you really got to appreciate the person he is and the player he is”, Smith said.
John Wall led Washington with 21 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. Cleveland shot 40% from the field.
It started early when LeBron James sat out Cleveland’s contest against the Wizards.
“We’re building some good things from our defensive thinking”. We damn sure weren’t playing defense.
“It’s very deflating, but for us, we have to have more of a resilient attitude, and guys like myself just have to be accountable and kind of forcing the pace in the third quarter”.
“We showed some mental toughness”, James said.
As the Cavaliers prepare for their game against the Pacers, their lead in the Eastern Conference has been cut to just two games over the Raptors.
Magic 130, 76ers 116: Rookie Mario Hezonja dunked four seconds into his first National Basketball Association start, finishing with 13 points, and Orlando ed all the way.
Wall took over for the Wizards in the second quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento in the loss, while Rajon Rondo finished with 11 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Kyrie Irving was also key in this win, adding a steady 22 points. He scored 43 points against Cleveland on Friday.
After the game, Cavs guard J.R. Smith made his feelings clear about his team’s performance.
The score was tied, 52-52, after the first half but the Pistons broke it open with a 37-point third quarter. Shabazz Muhammad scored 24 points to lead Minnesota.
Greece’s Antetokounmpo finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists – the last two setting up three-pointers by Jerryd Bayless – to help the Bucks secure the win.
“Our top leader wasn”™t playing. It’s another opportunity for guys to step in and relish that opportunity, but our intensity level just wasn’t there.
On the season, the Pacers average 102.4 points, 44.3 rebounds and 20.5 assists per game. You have to come out and compete, no matter how tough the season is, no matter how many back to backs or three in four nights we have, that’s not excuse.
“If we’re going to play with a lack of energy … and come out and play the way we did today”, Smith said, “we shouldn’t be who we are and be in these uniforms”. If multiple players are anxious about the state of the team, the problems are quite real. IN allows 106.1 points per game on the second end of back-to-backs compared with 99.2 with at least a day between games.
“Dating back to previous year, I’ve been told that Kyrie Irving ain’t too happy being in Cleveland”, Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Monday morning.