Since LeBron James left the Cavaliers before last season, Cleveland was an astonishing 0-81 when trailing by at least 16 points. The Wizards held a 16-point lead Friday night and ended up losing to the Cavs 113-108.
So what happened?
You can point to the Wizards' cold shooting in the second half, or a lack of production from anyone not named Bradley Beal or Rui Hachimura, but they were playing a bad Cavs team who committed 21 turnovers. 21!
According to Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, Washington's trash talk during the game sparked Cleveland's comeback.
"Somebody out there ignited our defense to take it up a little notch," Thompson said according to Fred Katz. "You guys can look back at the film and probably take a guess at who we're talking about. But that person right there definitely ignited a bench mob so we give them a lot of credit for tonight for talking and got us going and helped us get a win."
It's not clear which Wizards player "ignited" the Cavaliers, so you'll probably have to do as Thompson said and go back, watch the film and determine who it was yourself. No matter how you slice it though, this isn't the best look for the Wizards.
If they're serious about making a push to the postseason, these aren't the games they can afford to lose, especially at home to teams who are nearly 30 games below .500. Their schedule won't do them any favors either. Washington has the second-hardest remaining schedule in the East, while its chief competitor for the eighth seed in Orlando has the second-easiest schedule in the East. Oh, and the Magic hold the tiebreaker over the Wizards.
The silver lining is the Wizards typically respond to bad losses. The problem this season has been sustaining that success. They've never had a winning streak longer than two games.
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