Written by: Kyle Andrews – Staff Writing Intern (@)
The Washington Wizards (30-21) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (35-15) both participated in the game of the ages on Monday night. Washington, who had just come off of a 17-game home winning streak and being ranked 3rd in the Eastern Conference, were taking on the 1st ranked Cavaliers.
It was no doubt that it was an amazing game when it got to the 4th quarter. The game went back and forth and it would come down to the final seconds. The Wizards were up one with just a few seconds remaining. LeBron James would drive to the hole and blow a layup. Washington had the game all, but clinched when they hit two subsequent free throws.
However, LeBron happened. James would catch the ball, shoot and bank in a three-pointer to tie the ball game. With :00.3 remaining on the clock, the Wizards couldn’t score, which would take the game into overtime.
Cleveland and Washington traded buckets in overtime, with Kyrie Irving showing up large with a capital “L”. He finished off the Wizards and put the nail in the coffin, despite LeBron fouling out.
KYRIE WITH THE SHOT. pic.twitter.com/5MzYi3HLSD
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 7, 2017
The final score of the game was 140-135, Cleveland. Washington’s Bradley Beal was the high-point man of the game, finishing with 41. Kevin Love had a great night as well, pouring in 39pts, on 11-17 FG, going 6-10 from the 3-point line and grabbing 12 rebounds. LeBron was not to be outdone either.
James finished with 32 points, on 12-18 FG, going 6-8 from 3. He also finished with a career-high 17 assists and 7 rebounds.
Although the Wizards couldn’t get the win, Washington head coach Scott Brooks was quite pleased with how his team played.
“That was an instant classic, a great basketball game between two great teams,” said Brooks. “Unfortunately we came up just short. I’m proud of the way we played tonight, our guys have nothing to be ashamed of, we gave a great effort.”
He definitely wasn’t wrong about the game. It was the best game that I had the opportunity to watch during the entire season. Players were driving to the lane, it was high-scoring and it came down to overtime. Just one day after the Super Bowl, it was more of the same: excitement, pure excitement.
John Wall and Beal both had comments on the game:
“That was a playoff atmosphere, our fans were tremendous, they gave us everything they had.” – John Wall
“Best atmosphere of the year, it was electric, we could feel the fans with us all night.” – Bradley Beal
This game was between two heavyweights, one team sitting at the pinnacle, a championship squad (Cleveland) and an insurgent team, playing at levels that haven’t been seen sense the Bush era (Washington).
That’s what we want to see. Great matchups. Two teams that are going for the jugular on each and every possession. It makes for beautiful basketball.
Furthermore, could you even imagine this as the Eastern Conference Finals game? Well, I could. We want seven games of this.
Shooting %: 50.5% (50/99)
3-point %: 41.4% (12/29)
FT %: 88.5% (23/26)
Rebounds: 43 (11 offensive rebounds)
Shooting %: 53.3% (49/92)
3-point %: 50.0% (19/38)
FT %: 82.1% (23/28)
Rebounds: 46 (12 offensive rebounds)
Wizards: Danuel House, Ian Mahinmi
Cavaliers: Chris Andersen, J.R. Smith