A possible playoff preview in on tap Friday in the nation’s capital, as the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers clash at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards are fourth in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game ahead of the Cavaliers, and look to come out of the All-Star break on a high note.Washington has lost eight of its last 12 games and had a two-game win streak stopped with last Wednesday’s 95-93 setback at Toronto. DeMar DeRozan’s jumper with 12.9 seconds remaining lifted the Raptors to victory and sent Washington to its fourth straight road loss.
John Wall posted 21 points and eight assists to lead Washington. Paul Pierce and Nene finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively, in defeat.
“Each one of us made some simple and small mistakes,” Wizards center Marcin Gortat said.
The Wizards announced prior to the game that guard Bradley Beal is dealing with a stress reaction in his lower right leg and will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break. Beal missed a third straight game.Washington, which is 20-8 at home and will visit Detroit on Sunday, made a deal prior to Thursday’s deadline and acquired Ramon Sessions from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Andre Miller.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers headed to the All-Star break on a losing note and dropped a 113-98 decision at Chicago last Thursday.All-Star LeBron James scored a game-high 31 points, but committed eight of Cleveland’s 16 turnovers. Fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving added 17 points, seven assists and six boards, but the Cavs nevertheless fell for just the second time in the last 16 games.
The Houston Rockets picked up some reinforcements for the playoff push, starting Friday night at American Airlines Center against the rival Dallas Mavericks.
The Rockets acquired rookie K.J. McDaniels from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Isaiah Canaan and a second-round pick. Houston also received point guard Pablo Prigioni from the New York Knicks for Alexey Shved and two second-rounders.
“I’m glad it’s over,” head coach Kevin McHale said of the deadline. “I thought Isaiah was a good player for us. Prigioni is a veteran guy. He’s played a lot of big games over in Europe. Alexey was a guy that really wasn’t in our rotation either, but I really liked him.”
The Mavs already returned from the break and the return was unspectacular.
Dallas was squashed by the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, 104-89, at
Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Dallas opened the game 3-for-19 from the floor and didn’t make a 2-point field goal until Richard Jefferson’s reverse layup at 3:19. OKC led by as many as 17, and Dallas cut the gap to 10 to start the fourth quarter. The margin never returned to single digits.
Rajon Rondo returned Thursday night after a six-game absence with facial fractures. He scored five points and handed out six assists.Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 14 points, followed by 13 from Devin Harris. Charlie Villanueva chipped in 11 off the bench and Tyson Chandler added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
NBA releases 02/20/2015
Heat vs Knicks
Raptoprs vs Hawks