A losing streak isn’t typically a good way to prepare to meet the reigning conference champions. But the Washington Wizards’ recent four-game drought — which had saw Marcin Gortat talking about the negativity on the team — wasn’t as bad as it looked. And careful Wizards watchers will have noted aspects of the Wizards play that were predictive of their 97-85 upset of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
Fact is, the Wizards have been playing great defense — a factor that always prevents long losing streaks. In their previous game, the Wizards were beaten by a Raptors buzzer shot after giving up just 84 points, a season best on defense. And the game was close despite All-Star John Wall shooting miserably, just 6-of-25 from the field. Predictably, Wall’s shooting returned to form and that was all the Wizards, who’ve been playing hard, needed against the Cavaliers. Wall scored 35 points with 10 assists and four boards — and the Wizards held Cleveland to a paltry 85 points. Wizards move to 7-8.